Kyadondo East by-election: High-school styled politics on a grand stage

The candidature of Kyagulanyi Ssentamu a local musician commonly known by his stage name ‘Bobi wine’ seems to have sensationalised what would otherwise have passed off as the usual competition between the party in power, National Resistence Movement (NRM) and the leading oppositon party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

Mr Kyagulanyi Ssentamu a.k.a Bobi Wine Mr Kyagulanyi Ssentamu a.k.a Bobi Wine. Photo: theUgandan.com.ug

A field day for the media
A huge benefitiary of the current status quo is the media that is always looking for stories of public interest that it can sensationalise, attracting a following that is converted into advertising revenue.

Many media houses bearly made a profit in FY 2016/17 than the previous year largely due a tough economy which saw business activity subdued. Some have labelled the economy a ‘bad economy’ a narative the government rejects.

The economy grew at 3.9% down from a projected 5.5% growth rate.
But that’s a topic for another day.

Bobi wine’s campaign has thus received extensive media coverage by most local media stations; that it has shadowed the other candidates in the race.
First things first
The by-election resulted from the courts nullifying Mr. Apollo Kantiti’s (FDC) election win after his challenger Mr. William Sitenda Sebalu (NRM) in the recently cocluded 2016 elections successfully appealed against Mr Katinti’s win.

Many members of parliament have been ejected from the August parliament, as well.

Who’s Kyadondo East
To put this into perspective, Kyadondo East is an electoral constituency that covers 219.48 square kilometers with an estimated population of about 216,726 people as of 2010, according to this article.

The economic activities being farming, brick laying, transport and trade for the rural part of the constituency; and restaurant, market vending, hair care, road side groceries and health care clinics on the semi-urban part of the same.

Blood in the streets: London grapples with a wave of home-grown terror attacks

The city of London has been in the news lately and as good reason can tell; it hasn’t been for all the right reasons.

A string of terrorist attacks has plagued the city leaving Londoners to question the ability of the security establishment in doing their job – to protect them.

It is has become evident to the observing eye that something needs to change in the way security matters are dealt with.

London 2017 terror attacks

A raft of fixes have been thrown around including a review or total rewriting of the civil liberties that the west is has been known for in an attempt to deal with the problem at hand.

These attacks have played out at a time when Britons were in the middle of election campaign process.

The prime minister Theresa May had called a snap election as a way to ‘strenthen her hand’ at the negotiating table as the UK begins the process to exit the European Union (EU).

Her plan didn’t turnout as expected leaving her with anything but a majority in the parliament, a weaker hand is what she got.

She has now had to form a coalition government.

The Grenfell fire incidence only her election loss off the front pages of major newspapers and other media; and stirred public anger at her government handling of fire.

Pressure on her was only compounded.

It is reported that 58 perished in the fire that gutted the 20 floor building. Preliminary findings at the time found an unresponsive fire alarm system and highly flamable materials to blame.

So much in a span of a few weeks.

The threat of terrorism has grown over the years shifting from attacks effected by terrorists from lands afar to attacks effected by people from those very communities; a trend that has been termed as ‘home-grown terrorism.’

London attacked

The city of London has been in the news lately and as good reason can tell; it hasn’t been for all the right reasons.

A string of terrorist attacks has plagued the city leaving Londoners to question the ability of the security establishment in doing their job – to protect them.

It is has become evident to the observing eye that something needs to change in the way security matters are dealt with.

The Sadness about televison… and the people who find it irresistable

Watching television
Until last year, the Ugandan media landscape was gased with foreign programming in the form of soap operas, south African drama, you name it.

This had placed a ceiling on the growth of the local entertainment industry advertently or inadvertently and was evidenced by the relegation of the Ugandan local performing arts, like dramas and comedy shows to crumbling theatre stages and entertainment local bar revellers.

The average of say soap operas on one of the channels was 3 and all running concurrently in the same day. And this is only a conservative estimate.
Other stattions had even more.

The late nights would have their own set of shows.

Well, as you ought to be the know by now, their was a directive passed by the Uganda Communications commission requiring all media houses to air local indigenous content by upto 70% at a minimum of their content.

One could claim that this was NRM’s gift to the entertainment industry and particularly the performing arts, since they are the biggest beneficiaries of this policy decision.

The industry has largely grown out of it’s own effort without a lot of incentives from the government.

That’s besides the point.

When you look at the content and the class of viewers its intended for and looking at the general makeup of our population, you easily conclude most viewers shouldn’t be watching.

It’s fascinating how we prefer the likes of NTV, NBS, channels that are targeting the middle class to which most of the population doesn’t belong.

NTV was the most watched station followed by NBS and Bukedde in a survey carriedout last year. Should it assumed that most of their viewership is ‘middle class.’

There is a lot of tolerence for fantasy or wishful thinking by most. Television is unreal by it’s nature. It’s a fictional representation of events much like movies.

The recent 70% local content has only localise the fictionality much like the effect of dubbing of most movies. Suprisingly, local movies are also dubbed.

Sadly more and more people continue to endulge and even flirt with whatever fanatsies aired on televisons every hour of the day.

My lyrics of the week

Music

Viva La Vida – Coldplay

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes
Listened as the crowd would sing
Now the old king is dead long live the king
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
Missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
Once you’d gone there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

It was a wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of
drums
People couldn’t believe what I’d become
Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
I know St Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
I know St Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

#jdc_playlist