It’s high time we learnt to work smartly

Entebbe road is a kind of nightmare now! Even during the school holidays the traffic has not let up.You need about three hours from the city to the airport during the day or early evening. The traffic is actually made worse by the many escorted VIPs because we must stop to let them by. One wonders what happens when two sets of the VIPs travelling in different direction meet.

And is it true that some ‘smart’ business people do hire the police’s ‘sirened’ lead cars when rushing to the airport?

It seems that the two worst traffic hot spots are the Zana roundabout and the Kajjansi crossing, where road works for the Southern Bypass are ongoing. Surely it must have been obvious to our planners that there was a looming problem seeing that most Entebbe traffic goes through Kajjansi!

As for Zana, we must be thankful for the traffic police officers. Were it not for their presence, Zana would have been more like a car park. You have three lanes of traffic all pouring vehicles onto the puny Entebbe road heading to Seguku. No rocket science required here to understand the challenge at hand.

After years of campaigning and petitioning to all that care to listen, it seems that our Kigo road may at long last get some attention, thanks to the Kajjansi traffic hindrances. Finally official planners or policymakers have realised that if all the feeder roads had been sorted out, repaired or even tarmacked, before embarking on the major crossing at Kajjansi, this traffic nightmare could have been avoided.

Consequently, most alternative roads feeding onto Entebbe road are being graded or firmed up with an extra layer of murram. You can now turn off at Lubowa and rejoin the main road at Kitende.

This would probably save you about an hour’s time but you would have to bear with the thick dust! If Kigo road were fixed, one would be able to go all the way to Munyonyo via Makindye connecting from Busabala road. This should not have required rocket science either! Sadly it is possibly the inconvenience resulting from traffic delays that has forced public officers to consider what should have been done in the first place. Despite bullying their way through using government cars plus the escort, police cars, the sheer volume of traffic on the road is immense. It is this that has smartened them up.

Well, you have to commend Dr Kizza Besigye who is employing smart politics on the campaign trail. It is noticeable that at every rally there is a cash collection made to support his campaign similar to the Baganda way of okuyisa akabbo.

I am told that supporters have also offered plenty of other non-cash items. Is this not a first for Uganda? In contrast, last week I saw a large group of boda boda riders, all clad in bright yellow t-shirts, filling up their tanks at a local petrol station. Do you think they paid for their fuel?

Now you might think that the akabbo collections at rallies will amount to nothing, but hey, consider lessons from Obama’s very smart and successful ‘small donations strategy’ in both his US presidential campaigns. He pestered voters with letters, SMS and emails and was able to raise $690 million in 2009. This year it worked for the British Labour Party that was able to collect one million pounds using the same strategy.

In any case, it is excellent when voters begin to support their politicians using hard-earned cash. That is why I am impressed with the NRM secretariat which, it is alleged, illegally introduced nomination fees for all elective positions.

At least now we shall be able to determine the source of campaign funds. Most important, however, is that there will be no messing about with people who have paid their money.

Perhaps we have a different kind of election on our hands this time round. General Mugisha Muntu is also changing himself – so to speak – on the campaign trail. It is like he wishes to present himself as angry and aggressive in the KB way! Is this smart? Will it work? Independent Amama Mbabazi says that the KB way does not work for him.

Understandable! He cannot help it – what does one do with all the polish acquired as a high-class lawyer, prime minister…?

On the social front, my friends Sarah Kagingo and Lindah Nabusayi seem to be breaking some rules because they are forever positive; I like that! But JPAM has the fiery lady Mayanja Nkangi. What about the other ‘prospectives’?

Dr Aggrey Kiyingi is hogging international media, especially through television interviews, and Prof Vanansius Baryamureeba is bullish in the national press. Both insist they will conquer. Come on 2016!

The author is one of the founding Kigo Thinkers.

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