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Thursday, July 20, 2017

#Uganda pedestrian rams into govt official's envoy, preventing a cure for hunger and disease!



Kalinaki nails us again in his take on Kasule Lumumba's car being knocked by a university kid who by the way was on foot trying to cross the road!  The audacity of Uganda regime arrogant thieves leaves one to wonder whether the country has gone to the dogs or the dogs took over the country.  Every politician or fat pig who kills an innocent person and gets away with the murder helps to set a precedent for others to do the same and walk free.
Martha Leah Nangalama
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Dangerous roads, reckless convoys and officials dressed up with nowhere to go!
I was saddened when I heard that a young woman had been killed after being hit by a speeding convoy of cars on Entebbe Road, but I was not surprised.
Only a few days earlier, your columnist had spent the better part of the day crawling along Entebbe Road, which often feels like one long parking lot. Entebbe is only 40 kilometres from Kampala and there was a time, a decade or so ago, when one could do a round trip in under three hours; these days you are lucky to do one leg in that time.
The problem is easy to see: The number of cars has increased but the size of the road has not, while an eye-wateringly expensive toll-road designed to take some of the traffic away is yet to be completed. The result is round-the-clock heavy traffic, which turns into a gridlock at the fall of a raindrop.
In sane societies, one or all of the following things would have happened: feeder back roads would be tarmacked to keep local traffic off the ‘highway’; multiple-carrier forms of public transport, such as buses, would be encouraged instead of smaller, less-efficient cars; while the road itself would be expanded all the way to the airport.
With a bit more ambition and imagination, we could even lay down a light tram to run an express service between the two towns and keep most of the cars doing the airport run off the road completely.
But no! This is no country for sanity. Why deal with such problems with elbow grease when you can grease the wheels of patronage and impunity?
So here is how we deal with the traffic problem instead: When the President needs to commute between Kampala and Entebbe, it is not uncommon for long stretches of the road to be closed to ‘civilian’ traffic until the Big Man and his convoy have passed through.
As inconveniencing as it might be to other road users, this is not illegal; the President, Speaker, Chief Justice and their deputies have a right of way, according to the police, as well as fire trucks, ambulances, Central Bank bullion vans and police vehicles responding to emergencies.
But Uganda is a small country with many Big Egos. You have not made it in life in Uganda if you aren’t able to get a police lead car, siren blazing and lights flashing, to frighten other road users and create room for you through the traffic.
And if the only space is to be found on the wrong side of the road meant for oncoming traffic, so be it! The young woman didn't see it coming, stood no chance!
It took me more than an hour to cover the 20 kilometres between Kajjansi and Kampala and in that time, I counted 17 ‘convoys’ noisily snaking through the traffic like caterpillars on steroids, self-important mandarins marinating on their heavy lunches, the smug looks on their faces barely visible behind their tinted windows.
This is a metaphor for the madness of our society. Ordinary folks wake up early and plan their days so that they can make the school run and be at work on time. They work hard, pay their taxes and save to buy old cars. Then overpaid officials in fuel-guzzlers funded by taxpayers push them off the road. Abeg!
I can understand an ambulance carrying a heart attack victim driving over the kerb or on the wrong side of the road, but what emergency is the Agriculture or Lands minister going to deal with that requires the same urgency and bending of the rules? Has Lake Victoria sprung a leak that the Water minister is rushing to fix?
And, as someone pointed out the other day, if all government officials seem to be in a rush, why is the economy slowing down, and why are almost all major projects behind schedule and above budget?
They might dart from one meeting to another, but most of the folks pushing us off the road are like doors; they pick up a lot of mileage going back and forth, but they don’t move things forward. The next time one of the unentitled busybodies tries to push you off the road, do your country a favour and refuse to budge. You might even save a life!
Mr Kalinaki is a journalist and a poor man’s freedom fighter. dkalinaki@ke.nationmedia.com
Twitter: @Kalinaki. Twitter: @Kalinaki
THE OBSERVER, DANIEL KALINAKI

Dangerous roads, reckless convoys and officials dressed up with

Thursday July 20 2017 By Daniel K Kalinaki Only a few days earlier, your columnist had spent the better part of the day crawling along Entebbe Road, which often feels like one long parking lot.

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