Saturday, March 17, 2018

'Hon' Twinamasiko MP, A True 'Champion' Of Battered Ugandan Women!

Last week, March 8th, was International Women's Day (IWD). IWD for those not in the know, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

M7 Launching The National Policy On Elimination Of Gender Based Violence In Uganda in 2006 
IWD celebrations in Uganda, took place in Mityana and were presided over by The Man With The Hat who called for economic independence for women. He said: “If we empower women as well as the graduates, we shall have implemented two programmes: One, enhanced imports substitution, and two, enhanced exports promotion.”

More importantly, he drove a point home with: “An educated and economically empowered mind, will unlock a woman from an abusive spouse.” Then came the message that all women wanted to hear - “A man who batters a woman is foolish and a coward and that some women do not report cases of abuse by their husbands for fear of being driven out to a life of hopelessness and economic desperation.”

A Woman Being Punched
There should have been no need for me to expound on - “A man who batters Wifey is foolish and a coward”, for it was a laid bare and clear-cut statement that even the people from Bugangaizi East should have grasped.

But alas, I have to expound because of a chap from Bugangaizi East, Onesmus Twinamasiko. But wait up – and where have my manners gone? Let me re-phrase the and introduce him properly and with all the due respect seeing that he is a Member of Parliament. Enter the MP from Bugangaizi East, Honourable Onesmus Twinamasiko. Mbu honourable – hmm! 

MP Onesmus Twinamasiko Wants Women To Be Goofed Because They Need To Be "Streamlined"  
I had never heard of MP Twinamasiko, nor had I heard of a place called Bugangaizi East - wherever that is. I could have done some Googling but to be honest, I could be bothered. Anyway, we presume that the reason Twinamasiko is a Member of Parliament, is because he went to school, is level headed and Constituent saw him as the best the person to represent their needs. But is he? Does he have the interests of women at heart? Would he go out of his way to defend their rights?

The Sad Face Of A Battered And Bruised Woman Which, Bugangaizi East MP, Onesmus Twinamasiko Has No Problems With 
I doubt because barely four days after The Man With The Hat lashed out that “a man who batters a woman is foolish and a coward”, Twinamasiko and on the steps of Parliament gave an interview to NTV. In the interview and with more than just an air of arrogance, a bold conviction and straight face, said: “As a man, you need to discipline your wife.” He didn’t stop there. Switching to a smug look he added: “You need to touch her a bit, you tackle her, beat her somehow to streamline her.”

The Diva Rihanna Was Battered By Boyfriend Chris Brown 
That you have to tackle her, beat her somehow to streamline her - OMG! What exactly did he mean when he said: “tackle her” and “beat her somehow”? Did he mean that during an argument and when Wifey feels threated that she decides to run away, men should chase after her, tackle her, then goof the lights out of her?

What Twinamasiko doesn’t know is tragically more than one in five women aged 15 – 49 have experienced domestic or sexual violence in Uganda according to a government report published last year.

While his statement is from the caveman days, there is more than a justified need to sympathise with the women who live in his household, for we can surmise from his interview that he ‘tackles and streamlines them with a beating’.

Not Good At All
Twinamasiko did proffer a feeble apology but, it took him a staggering three days to offer and not because he thought it was the right thing to do, but because of the heat he was getting from social media. Also - stepping down as a Member of Parliament was something he didn’t consider because resigning is not a Ugandan thing – even for a Member of Parliament who advocates that it’s okay for men to batter women.
Oddly enough, there has been no statement from the Ministry of Gender and Social Development. Ah, perhaps they are ‘busy’ in a darkened building trying to figure out how the porn machine works than tackling more vital issues like Twinamasiko who gleefully wants to see women get battered!  

Pictures: NTV, TMZ, New Vision, Agencies       

Friday, March 9, 2018

Kayihura Should Embrace His IGP Sacking The Way I Embraced My WBS Sacking

Being sacked, is one thing we dread. Robert Maxwell used to own The Mirror, a UK tabloid and the fable goes, when he sacked senior employees, he would subpoena them to his 9th floor office, fire them but with the utmost reverence then, graciously stride them to the lift to ‘see them off’.

Was Robert Maxwell was a bully and 'sadist'?
The lift however, was a relic with two sets of doors –  the actual lift doors and an outer grill door to protect people from tumbling down the lift shaft once it departed.

With Fired Employee in the lift, Maxwell would unleash his coup de grace and bellow down the lift shaft – “you’re going down, you’re going down!” and his bellowing words would reverberate and echo in the lift till it hit the ground floor. He was a tyrant and sadist!

I used to work for Chairman - Gordon Wava that is, at WBS TV. For a while, all went well until we had a ‘falling out’ and I was sacked. Elvis Wava, the then Executive Director at the station called me to his desk and said: “Tim, I got bad news from Chairman – He’s told me to let you go.” I didn’t get what he was on about so I asked: “Let me go where?” Obviously, he looked at me like I was a looney of sorts.

Elvis Wava, Former Executive Director, WBS TV
When the sacking took hold, it was like somebody had walloped the back of my head with a steel sledgehammer, for I hadn’t seen it coming. What am I going to do? How does one get a new job? What do I tell the people in my department and more importantly, those at home? Would Bukedde’s gossip page have that one-word headline that screams: “Bamugobye!” once they get wind of the story? When I pack my stuff, should I head straight home, hang about in town or start looking for a new job? Hmm, instead I made beeline for a stool at La Bella on De Winton Road, and quaffed more than I should have. Luckily, Chairman and I patched up our differences that I was re-hired - but after six months of being on kateebe.

Over the past couple of weeks, three notable people have lost their jobs – Justine Bagyenda, BoU Executive Director of Bank Supervision, Henry Tumukunde, Security Minister and Kale Kayihura the IGP. Of the three, its Kayihura dismissal that sparked the most public interest.

Now That He's On Kateebe, The Stress Veins On His Forehead Are Set To Vanish  
Unlike my WBS sacking, Kayihura must have seen his coming. Its not been a good three years for him – especially the last couple of months with a CMI and ISO fallout, dead expatriates in hotel rooms, a simmering beef with Tumukunde, and kidnappings. Another thing, days after I was sacked, Chairman didn't go into a rant and start hurling innuendos that said: "WBS had been infiltrated by a 'bean weevil' and now that it has removed, the station can grow." 

Is Kale Kayihura The 'Bean Weevil' That The Man With The Hat Was Referring To?
The Sunday evening Kayihura got fired, I presume that as the news filtered out, he must have immediately turned off his cell-phone to avoid getting calls and WhatsApp messages that read: “Affande, I am hearing lugambo that The Man With The Hat has fired you? Please tell me it’s not true!”

Then the drive back to his Muyenga crib from wherever he was, must have been a long and painful one for it was going to be the last time he sits in the official IGP Land Cruiser - complete with the advance police pick up that clears the road of traffic for him. Worse, he got home to find the police detach that guarded him had already packed and gone.

That Sinking Feeling?
I embraced my freedom after my WBS sacking and Kayihura should embrace his too. I hear he has now started playing tennis at Lugogo, he can sleep in and he no longer has to wear a uniform. The stress veins on his forehead will vanish as will the days of sitting alone like he had no friends. But more importantly, no more 4:00am bunkenke kiboko phone calls from The Man With The Hat!

Kale Kayihura Looks More Relaxed Now That He's No Longer IGP

Pictures: Daily Mirror, NTV,,

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Ugandans - Consumed By Greed, Temporary Insanity Or Both?

Before we get into the gist of this Sunday’s ramble, we need to define greed and temporary insanity. Greed is defined as: ‘An intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth and power’ .

Are Ugandan's Consumed by Greed?
On the other hand, temporary insanity is: ‘A defence by excuse when the defendant is not responsible for his actions due to an episodic or persistent psychiatric disease at the time of the act.’ I on the other hand, describe it as: ‘Having a bout of temporary cuckoos.’

Female English Newscaster was a level-headed person when we worked together at WBS. She was eloquent and read the news with precision. In her private life, she didn’t go in search of the limelight and once work was done, she headed straight home. As far as I can remember, the only passion she appeared to have, was for gold – rings and chains.

All That Glitters Is Not Necessarily Gold
It was end of month. Salaries had been paid and she’d been to the then Nile bank ATM and withdrawn her rent money when from of the blue at the Spear Motors stage on Jinja road, out slithered Hawker flashing a briefcase of gold trinkets. Female English Newscaster's eyes lit up like that of a Mercedes Benz AMG G65 LED lights on full beam, which Hawker obviously noticed and wasted no time wooing her with his sales spiel.

Ten minutes later, the deal was a wrap. Female Newscaster had gold bling draped round her neck and Hawker had her rent money in his back pocket. But wait, who buys gold from Hawker at a taxi stage? Anyway, back home when she jumped out of the shower, she noticed the bling was no longer gold, but fading to silver – ouch! Was Female English Newscaster hit by temporary insanity, greed or both?

Juuko is smart. He attended the University of Dar es salaam and if I recall, he was in the top echelons of his engineering class. Juuko loved watches and Hawker slimed himself out of the sewers when things were ‘tight’ as he put it. But Hawker wasn’t perturbed that Juuko didn’t have a dime on him. A barter trade would suffice. So Juuko duly whipped off his classy imported shoes in exchange for a gleaming watch and walked home to Muyenga barefoot.

Hawker Sold Watches Usually Have A Life Span Of Two Weeks
14-days later, the gleaming watch started having difficulty keeping up with time. Seeking expert opinion from Horologist, he had nothing but ‘time to throw up’ news for Juuko. The watch so Horologist said, was a cheap Chinese import worth no more than 5K and was surprised it manged to last two weeks. Was Juuko hit by temporary insanity, greed or both?
All I know about Muhammad Gusaga, is that he’s the NRM Vice-Chairman for Mbale District and sometime back was gifted with a crib valued at sh700m for his services to the party. Last December so the tale goes, Gusaga’s neighbour – fresh from South Africa rumbled into Mbale in a flashy eye catching sleek convertible Merc and a Beemer which, got Gusaga more than thinking.

Are A Merc And A Convertible Beemer A Must Have?
He too wanted a convertible Merc and a Beemer even though he couldn’t afford them. But wait up. He owned the title deed to a sh700m crib and I guess there is no need to tell you what he did next - or is there? Let me just tell the tale anyway.

In the dead of the night and after stirring Wifey from a cavernous slumber, Gusaga managed to sway her into signing the transfer papers to Neighbour. The ink on the contract had barely dried than Neighbour, as the new owner of the sh700m crib, swept into action and evicted Gusaga and his family who, have since been forced to seek accommodation in a hotel which they can’t afford because they now are broke.

The NRM Donated Bungalow With Rental Units Which Gusaga Bartered For A Merc and Beemer

Like Female English Newscaster and Juuko, was Gusaga also hit by a bout of temporary insanity, greed, both or something else? 

Pictures: Daily Monitor, Agencies                

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Why Can't Ugandans Wait In Line?

We were 12 in the que at the check out till in the supermarket - all with laden baskets save for Muzungu Woman behind me who, had a solitary jumbo bottle of water. At my turn, I nobly let her through seeing she only had a bottle of water while, my basket was overflowing.

Ugandans Don't Like To Line Up At The Till
As she offered a polite thank you, Chap comes out of nowhere, elbows her aside and plonks two baskets at the till. Then looking round with an air of self-deluded bravado, you could almost lip read him say: “Yes, so I have jumped the que. What are you all going to do about it?”

Looking down the que at Elderly Woman and the rest, it was plainly palpable that not a murmur was going to come out of them. Naturally, the gauntlet was on me to ‘man up’ and restore order. This is how it went down. 

TB: “Excuse me sir, if you look round, there are 12 people who have patiently lined up and are waiting to be served. It would be nice if you joined the back of the line?”

Chap save for a grunt, gave me a look like I was an irritant, a fly that can easily be swatted away and continued unpacking his baskets.

Meanwhile, Till Girl like Supervisor, uncertain of what to do – to serve him or not to, apprehensively sat there waiting for that moment when time was nigh to duck behind the till in case a melee broke.

Voice raised, I once again asked him to remove himself and his basket to the back of the que and to stop being an ass. But Chap was unperturbed, so I stepped forth picked up the items he’d unpacked and hurled them to the ground followed by the basket which, was flung down one of the aisles.

Chap and I Squared Up To Each Other  Like This
This is now the part when everything goes into a meltdown and in slow motion. Chap looked at me in disbelief. I squared up in case he threw a ‘left’. Till Girl had scattered abandoning the till. Jajja, who was fourth in the que, made haste for the entrance while Supervisor simply cowered. The silence was so deftly, you could almost hear a pin drop.

With all eyes on him, he deflated his self-deluded bravado, whimpered himself to the entrance and was gone. When I walked out minutes later, a loud applause rang out which I took to mean - ‘appreciation for services rendered?’

Former Army Commander used to shop at Karungi’s, a small family store just off the Ggaba road on the way to Kawuku and would delight in rolling up in a heavily armed convoy that sealed off the supermarket. As he shopped, ADC would walk in front of him and with aid of a small stick he would poke people out of the way so he (Former Army Commander), didn’t have to que up in any of the aisles.

That practise stopped the day Bernard had a run in with him. There was just need to assure him to face that he was a mere man of little importance who is trying to be all important. For a moment after the exchange, Bernard thought ADC was going to whip out his little stick and start flogging him and he would have except, Former Army Commander weighed up the consequences and concluded it would be foolhardy.

Weeks back in the supermarket, I spied Dr Ian Clarke shopping. Seeing he’s a celebrity politician, I half expected him to flout the que and walk himself to the front. He didn’t but waited in line – like the rest of us. Hmm, there must be ‘something wrong with him’ – I don’t think he is Ugandan enough yet?

Despite Being A Celebrity Dr and Politician, Ian Clarke Waits in Line

Pictures: Daily Monitor, Star Central Magazine, Matooke Republic             

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Is M7 The Best Qualified Person For Hangmans Job?

I don’t know how many people in Uganda are unemployed, but it’s a good number. And each year, the higher learning institutions churn out graduates who have no jobs to go to, while the secondary and primary schools let lose the dropouts to wander the streets looking in vain for what to do.

However, the reality of it, is that there are plenty of jobs except, some people are ‘greedy’ and hog them all to themselves.

The tale is told of how Deceased Tycoon who owned a now defunct bank, took his duties as owner a trifle too far. Rather than settling himself into a plush leather swivel chair behind a desk the size of a tennis court and holding court with officials from Bank of Uganda or CEOs of other banks, he wanted to do all the jobs in the bank.

Deceased Tycoon, when the hour hand hit 10:00am signalling coffee time, he would be in the kitchen monitoring how many teaspoons his employees were putting into their coffee or tea. If not, when lunch was served, he would avail himself and bark instructions to Tea Girl that it was strictly one piece of meat per employee.

Tea Girls
He didn’t have to double up as Tea Girl because she was perfectly qualified to do the job. But that was Deceased Tycoon. He felt that there was nobody at the bank who was qualified enough to know what they were doing and given the chance, he would have been Toilet Cleaner, Errand Boy and Carpark Attendant too. The one job he didn't appear to take on was that of being his own driver. There, he always had Driver to drive him about. 

Enter The Man With The Hat – M7 that is, who has a buffet before him. As president, he has to run the country, speak to world leaders, keep the army in check, travel to the United Nations in New York as well as keeping a close eye on members of the opposition.

President Museveni
However, with a buffet before him, like Deceased Tycoon, he still craves for more and wants to hog all the jobs for himself. Last week I think it was, he commissioned the sh35bn Manafwa – Tororo Lirima gravity water flow treatment plant. Before that, he had opened up Pearl of Africa hotel in Nakasero, thousands of primary and secondary schools, hospitals, clinics, roads, supermarkets, agriculture and energy projects, markets, shopping malls and telecom centres. The list is endless and yet, there are a number of people and dare I say, myself included, who are better qualified to open projects.

We could have let all that slide but no, there is a just need to berate him. You see, sometime in January, he boldly stated: “I will hang death row prisoners.” But wait up. The last time that happened in Uganda, was in April 1999, when Hajji Musa Sebirumbi and 27 others had their necks stretched.

The Words As Reported By Daily Monitor
Luzira Prison does employ Hangman and we presume he is the most qualified person for the job – I mean, if he can hang 28 men in one day, go home and shout “honey am home”, kick off his boots and flop himself in the couch without flinching, he must be exemplary good. But for the past 29 years he has been drawing salary for doing nothing. Are we to presume he ambles up to Luzira every morning, goes to the hang room, practises tying a noose, has morning tea and lunch then retires for the day?

Anyway, not content with opening schools and hospitals, The Man With The Hat now wants to ‘personally’ do the hanging yet, there is perfectly qualified Hangman who has hands on experience at hanging and I am sure is very eager to get back to work after doing nothing for the past 29 years. When he (The Man With The Hat) presents himself to Parliaments Appointments Committee for vetting, Commissioner of Prisons, Johnson Byabashaija should speak up and thwart the appointment so me think.

The Noose

Pictures: Daily Monitor, Agencies, New Vision

Friday, February 9, 2018

If You Don't Have A 'Godfather', You Need One!

We all have godfathers and my understanding of them, is that of a man who presents a child at baptism and promises to take responsibility for their religious tutoring. In many cases, that never happens and ironically enough, many people if asked, have no inkling of who their godfather is.

Religious Godfather aside, there are two other godfathers. One is linked to crime - like the head of a Sicilian crime family - in other words, the Mafia. Being Godfather is a great honour in Sicilian culture and the role was superbly portrayed by actor Al Pacino in The Godfather movie trilogy.
Al Pacino as The Godfather
In Uganda, when we talk about Godfather, it’s not in terms of religion or a criminal aspect, but that of the man whose cell number is 24/7 on speed dial. He is that man who also commands the presence, influence and respect to open doors for us to get jobs or has the clout to bail us out when we are in trouble.

Years back, James and fresh out of campus wanted a job with URA. Six months of wearing down his shoes soles on Kampala’s dusty streets and being tossed from one office to another took its toll. He simply wasn’t getting anywhere. In a tête-à-tête with Mum one evening, she assured him that all would be fine. She said something along the lines of: “James don’t worry, Godfather is a URA Commissioner.”

All it took was a call from Mum to Godfather and the following day at 9:00am, James was sitting before Head of Human Resource – not for a job interview as he thought, but to be ‘gifted’ a job in a department of his choice and a senior level job at that. Godfather’s magic wand came through for James.

As far as I and all who know Rachael, the two things we all agree upon is that that she’s daft in the actual sense of the word and indolent. When Supervisor at utl where she worked rightfully terminated her contract for non-performance, without mincing words, she bluntly told him he didn’t have the authority to fire her. Unruffled, he stood his ground and barked at her to pack and ship out. Instead so I heard, she swivelled round in her seat, delved into her bag and extracted a sleek Apple cell phone that was so not affordable to her on her paygrade and made a call.

By the close of the week, head office was rife with whispers that Supervisor had been given a choice of resigning or accepting a transfer to Gulu. Godfather had rescued Rachael.
When I worked for WBS, Chic was referred to me. Her words were on point - “I’ve come for the job.” My retort was equally on point – “What can you do?” Is there any need to guess her answer? It was, “anything.” So, I gave her the job of mopping the corridor three times a day. Chic sneered and almost spat her phlegm in my face. Suffice to say, I got a call summoning me to Nakawa to see Chairman who put me in my place. Unknown to me, Chairman who owned WBS, was Godfather to her. Ouch!
WBS Logo
But not all Godfather tales end on a good note. Back in the day when Tight Friend of Kabaka got stopped by a police breathalyser unit, he wasn’t at all perturbed. Rather, he took it all in his stride, pulled out his cell and phoned Godfather. Godfather so the story goes, was non-other than and wait for it, wait for it, WAIT but err, Kabaka Roland Mutebi!
Kabaka Ronald Mutebi

Whether Kabaka spoke to Police and wasn’t able to bail out Tight Friend or he just didn’t pick his call, that we don’t know. What we know is Tight Friend of Kabaka was carted off to the coolers for the night.  

Meanwhile, in the corridors of powers, all is not good for embattled Finance Minister, Matia Kasajja over something to do with a $200m loan from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank. When Parliament started demanding he be sacked, Kasajja pulled a move that all cabinet members pull when they are in trouble - to run to Godfather. In his case, his godfather is The Man With The Hat - President M7 that is. However, more than two weeks after he pleaded for help, The Man With The Hat has not come to his rescue and appears to have fed him to the wolves.  

Has Godfather Fed Finance Minister Kasajja To The Wolves?

Pictures: Agencies, Paramount Pictures, New Vision, WBS

Friday, February 2, 2018

What, No More 'Pussy' For Grades At Makerere University?

Despite my laying it bare in the headline, the 'young cat' - if you get the so not sublime sexual innuendo, pussy no longer holds any value at Makerere University!

Makerere University Coat of Arms
Makerere University back in the days of yore, was the greatest higher learning institution in East Africa – if not, in Africa. In its thus 96-year-old history, some of its former students became great men and leaders - former Ugandan, Kenyan and Tanzanian Presidents - Milton Obote, Mwai Kibaki, Benjamin Mpaka and Julius Nyerere.

As the years rolled, Makerere started to lose its sheen that today, it’s just another of Uganda’s once great institutions that’s so hell-bent on snapping at the heels of Uganda Posts and Telecommunications, Uganda Co-operative Bank and Uganda Electricity Board by going to the dogs and dying an untimely death – yet, it can be saved.

I’ve never really been to Makerere University, save for an evening that I can only describe as a moment of utter temporary insanity when in the late 90s, I went to pick Squeeze for a disastrous date in which, she invited two friends to tag along – hmm!

I had transgressed but getting back, there is some chap called Barnabas who, am told heads the university and upon further investigation, I find that this Barnabas chap is not just a chap. So, there is a need on my part to proffer an apology and address him with due respect. He is Professor Barnabas Nawangwe and he holds the position of Vice-Chancellor.  Apologies Vice-Chancellor.
Professor Barnabas Nawangwe
It appears Prof Nawangwe has been jolted by the prospect of the university going to the dogs under his watch that he’s decided to do something about it. Last month, he boldly announced: “No more sex for marks!” - or something to that effect.

Can we pause a tad and delve into this sex for marks saga and see if it’s the real reason why the university is going to the dogs and how it works?

I presume that many of the finest lasses out of Budo, Gayaza, Namagunga and Nabisunsa for example, rather than knuckle down and actually read, they preferred the glitzy lights and all-night drinks in Panamera, Cayenne and Silk Liquid that when they fluffed the exams, rather than doing re-sits, they flashed succulent brown thighs, ample bosoms and more to Lecturer to pass?

Suffice to say, I have come across many women – and men who hold senior government and corporate jobs and who supposedly went to Makerere but incredibly can’t do the job. Those who filter into the media industry after having graduated with a degree in Mass Communication can’t even express themselves, think – let alone write a paragraph that’s of any sense.

Graduation Day
 Permission to enlighten you? Cool. Years ago, I summoned Reporter to my desk because I couldn’t make gist of what had been filed. Asking her to read through what she’d written and help me comprehend, she read through it twice, sat back, let out a ‘phew’ and without any hint of embarrassment turned to me and said: “What do you think I was trying to say?”

Without waiting for my answer which by the way, would have been along the line of “tumbavu” had she given me the chance to respond, Reporter simply picked up the story, slithered her booty back to the newsroom where I thought she’d recoiled to think about what she’d written and re-write it. She didn’t resubmit the story and the next time I saw her, it was in Silk Lounge looking ghastly plastered.

Reporter’s story did eventually run three days later – not in the Lifestyle Pages which I headed, but as a six-line news brief in the Home Pages. For her efforts, she got paid less than 5k for the six lines as opposed to the 70k+ she would have gotten if it had been a comprehensible read and run as a half page story in Lifestyle.

Might she be one of the girls that Professor Nawangwe, would think got her Mass Com degree in exchange for sex?             
Makerere University Main Building

Pictures: Makerere University