Friday, March 10, 2017

@DailyMonitor published many stories related to driving and cars - #Uganda

Normally I do not recommend that anyone reads anything from Uganda media because the media houses are compromised but Monitor tries and today I think all drivers in Uganda should read Monitor.

My qualifications:
Automechanic - hahaha.  I bet you did not know that.  I live and breath cars so I paid attention to the articles from Monitor regarding driving. I will soon write about insurance. Wait, I have written about insurance but I will make it more contextual for Uganda.

The first article showed a woman driving while using her mobile phone and I was actually shocked. Whenever I get into the car with the girls, they immediately take away my phone.  I used to be a brat user of phone while driving but Canada has strict laws about using the phone when driving.  The fines are very steep and the insurance shoots through the roof.  So if kids take your phone away while you are driving, you eventually learn to never even touch your phone when driving even without the kids in the car.

Australia was the first country to ban driving while using the phone in case you did not know.  Australia was also the first country that introduced graduated licensing.  The way it works in Canada is something that shocks new comers. Generally in Europe and North America, when a kid turns 16yrs old, their birthday present is a car.  So in Canada kids take the learners' exam which is a book they read about the regulations on the road and then must sit for an exam.  If they pass, they get their learner's permit and can now drive on all the roads but with someone who is 21yrs old and has a regular license.

I got my learner's license in Victoria BC (British Columbia, Canada) and there was no graduated licensing so I had a full license at age 19 but our kids now can get it much earlier.  I had not driven in Uganda though as you know that many parents do not teach girls to drive.  They teach boys though so go figure.

In August when we were driving Rebecca to Toronto to start University, we were on the biggest highway passing Montreal.  Rebecca was 16yrs old and she was the one driving the jeep.  She is so meticulous it can get annoying.  She noticed a young woman in the lane she was trying to go into and this woman was driving a stick shift.  One hand on the phone, one hand on the gear and her knee steering.  Becky says OMG, that woman is gonna cause an accident.  Natasha is like "obviously that B#@1ch does not have kids because there is no way in heck she would be on the phone while driving.  Tasha is truly mine because her language is as colourful as mine.  Imagine our shock when some few kilometers ahead there is an accident.  I will not say who caused it but we kept driving.  Because in this place, if you see an accident, drive and keep driving.  You have no idea of how much paper work is involved to be a witness.

Why I loved Monitor highlighting car things today is because in the first place, we have far too many accidents in Uganda and surely we must stop them because every life matters.

Then some people drive off without realising that the brakes are jammed.  AND what about the car heating up?  It could be just the radiator or plain simply, there is no oil.  But if you are on your phone and the gage is acting up, how will you see it?  In addition, many cars in Uganda run into packed trucks ahead (FUZU) and since you were on your phone and did not check your breaking distance, you suddenly go under and die.

On the breaking distance and being on the phone.  I watched many people speed in Mabira and they do not even pay attention to the solid line that says do not over take.  It is raining.  The driver is on the phone. Suddenly, mbu that Fuzu came out of no where.  Jesus!  It was right in front of you so why did you not look ahead?  When you are driving, always try to look 2-4 car distance ahead of you.  Believe me if you are doing this, when that little monster runs into the road to grab their banana leaves soccer ball, you will see the kid and break in time or swerve and not kill our next Thierry Henry or Paul Pogba.

Then we have these people who think their cars are more important than pedestrians and other cars.  They break all the rules.  They see a poor mama crossing ahead with a big basket of fruits or vegetables and speed up as if to throw dust in their faces to say, oli kukyi malaya gwe?  THEN they have the audacity to go to Nakivubo market to buy that bilinganya or enyaya from that same woman they nearly ran over. If this is not stupid, I do not know what is.

By the way, did you know that Owino market was demolished and even today the market in Adjumani (sp) got burned down (might have happened in the night though).  Go right ahead and drive your fancy cars but remember that my auntie and niece are the ones selling for you the food you rush to buy in Nakasero Market, Usafi, Wandegeya and Nakawa.  Wakyili if you respect the people who bring you the food, you ought to drive carefully and respect the traffic rules.

Now where was I even going with this story?  Aha!  Uchumi, Shoprite and some other supermarket left Uganda.  Maybe this third market has not left but you all know which one because their shop in Naalya does not even have Fanta on the shelves since suppliers are not paid so you all know who is gonna join Jobless Brotherhood soon.

Martha Leah Nangalama
Moncton, Canada
I write for fun but sometimes I write things which make sense after one reads them.  STOP calling Kampala Masaka Highway Massacre Road!  Get off the stupid phone.  I wish Kayihura could take away that phone and then you miss it and have to buy another one!

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