THE #Beat of THE MONTH. Police has the best #Beats.

Police #Beats Bodaboda Riders
AS THE WORLD spins ever faster along it’s axis so does nature up it’s speed and pace.

#NapoleonMusic is know for it’s slow pace and so is music from the 90’s. During Napoleon’s time, transport was mainly by horse and carriage. Things have gotten alittle bit faster since then.

Think of modern cars, aeroplanes, bicycles and even #HusseinBolt. It seems like #Beingfast is the trend of the century.

Beats become #Beats

The world witnessed the rise of #Beatsbydre which sold like hot cakes world wide, including here in Uganda. Ugandan’s didn’t want to be left out and so to came up with our own local version – #BeatsbyKenzo.

As if that were not enough there was #BeatsbyRedtop as the Military Police cleared the streets of Kampala during previous riot. Not long ago, Ugandan’s were made to dance to ‘you want another rap’ by M7 to which the chorus was ‘yes sevo.’

Kampala and the central region at large have been a fortress for the opposition which has generally outperformed the ruling party – NRM in most election cycles. This has made Kampala a hotbed for Police patrols as there’s need to keep an eye on the rebel territory; a way of keeping law and order, if you will.

With the relative calm in the city which has left the Police abit unoccupied, the men in uniform decided it was time to create their own beat – #BeatsbyUgPolice.

This isn’t new in kampala as the city has seen quite a good number of upcoming stars only for them to quickly fade. Kampalans have danced to #BeatsbyGoons, #BeatsbyKcca, with the recent one being the infamous #BeatsbyUgPolice.

If everyone is creating there own beats, you should prepare to see a surge in the number of music studios as entrepreneurs in Kampala position them selves to make a kill in the growing industry.

I have a feeling the BodaBoda men are not far away from making a launch of their own, creating there own #Beat, say, #NoHelmets or better a #BeatsbyBodas if you will.

Back to #BeatsbyUgPolice

It seems like the recent #BeatsbyUgPolice was not well received and appreciated as the Police came under a lot of pressure and criticism for their dance moves. They should have borrowed Eddy kenzo’s notes on how he does it #bytheway.

That said, #IGPKale had to arrest some of his lead singer and dancer Policemen and had them charged before the ‘Police court’. Despite all that, #IGPkale too has been invited to court for a chat with some of the aggrieved revellers who didn’t like the show.

Which ever way that conference turns out, one thing is clear; Police should stop creating beats and start #Policing like that man in Mityana.
The Police might not have received applause but they certainly made a hit. You might want to check the press for details.

CAN THE MEDIA BE TRUSTED?

Donald Trump

The US Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trumph
This week the US presidential nominee Donald Trump was endorsed at the Republican convention in Clevenland, Ohio defying all odds and predictions by pundits and experts that he wouldn’t make it. It was said that he looked ‘unpresidential,’ that skeptism over his ability to lead the US appears to have followed him to nomination day. He’s the last man standing.

The event was not so colourful like previous conventions. Drama, protests,and celebrations highlighted the political divide that still exists in the Republican Party and the wider American society. The Democratic camp isn’t any different either. What is clear is than Amaerican society isn’t united.

A world in chaos

Over in Turkey, a coup attempt failled to amount to anything thanks to the thousands of Turks who held anti-coup demonstrations and foiled the planned military take-over, saving the fall of an elected government. And now many are experiencing the cost of failure, the country is being ‘cleansed’ of ‘terrosists,’ going by the Turkish presidents statements.

A three month state of emergency is firmly in place. Organs of the state and non-state entities are being ‘purged’ starting with the army, judiciary and now thousands of academics were suspended and banned from leaving the country. No stone will be left unturned.

The world doesn’t seem doing well.

To borrow the words of Chinua Achebe, things seem to be ‘falling apart,’ as the ‘centre nolonger holds’ atleast if one is to go by media reports and the press.

A regrettable trend of things

It’s as though there is a race to out do each other in reporting a story. Everyone seems to report on the same stories the same way, only abit better and varying of style in reporting.

It’s akin to the worship and admiration thereof of love themed songs by most, if not all musicians, that has sucked diversity and richness out sound out of this generation’s music. Artists seem to fall over each other to recapture the emotions of life that have been the centre piece past songs, in their own voice.

Here at home

Police beating Bystanders

In Uganda, there has wide condemnation of the recent police beatings and harrassment of innocent by-standers and passive on-lookers that lined the roads to get a view as Kiiza Bessgye’s procession make it’s way in the winding streets of Kampala to his Wakiso home. The media has been credited, by some, for it’s efforts in comprehensivelly covering the incident, something it never did quiet properly in the Kigezi incident involving Amama’s supporters during the election campaigns early on in the year.

Our own Kazibwe, a one time Vice president just lost an election to be Chair of the African Union with elections being moved to January 2017. Two contenders are left. Kazibwe unfortunatelly will miss the grand finale come January.

Some commentators believe the media coverage and posturing of her public image as a suitable candidate for the job, both here at home and elswhere on the continent, had a significant contribution to her current predicament. There is some merit to it.

It is quiet clear that the media has a hand in shaping the outcomes of any process, be it posively or negatively.

Take an example of the media’s coverage of Golola’s fights that have given kick boxing, a hitherto dying sport, a breath of life that has catapulted it among the prestigious sporting activities in the sporting line-up of Uganda. More people have taken up the sport in; training schools/clubs, open fields as well as in ‘secrete bases,’ the kind that Golola prefered.

He’s equally well known for taking a lot of porridge, especially before his fights, something that has worked to his detriment and made him unstable on his feet exposing him to the occassional ‘dislications.’ What I wonder though is how it has influenced the publics view of porridge and whether it has watered their appetite and made their taste buds long for a cup or more. It’s hard to tell.

What is at play

With the on-going campaign process in the US and the behaviour of our own media here, I am fairly confident that it hasn’t escaped the mind of a keen observer that there is a taking of sides of some sort, either overtly or covertly, in the media. The media doesn’t seem too comfortable standing on both feet.

A desired image is projected for a ‘favoureable’ candidate, who are also the major shareholders, of who is favourable and will serve the interests best. A less desirable image is protrayed of the other.

Trump being associated with chaos, disruptiveness which has led some to associate him to Besigye’s public image in Uganda; and Hillary Clinton as the more presidential candidate. Not that I am drawing any unfair juxtapositions of the US candidates or parallels with Uganda’s political culture.

It is no rocket science that an establishment will consider it’s interest first. The media is no exception either. However, I find that a delicate balance of the many conflicting and competing interests has to be observed in order to serve the wider interests of society as a whole.

Is neutrality workable in matters of wide interest and will it buttress in the business of the media and produce a more balanced representation of events? It’s hard to tell. But one thing is clear: nothing is what it seems with the media. Your descerning abilities will be needed logicalmeter lest you find your self with unfactual accounts of events

kampala’s MOST FEARED ENFORCEMENT UNITS

Kcca officers arresting

KAMPALA is the largest urban area in Uganda and also serves as it’s Capital City under the administration of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). With a population of mostly youths and a population density of 5,377 people per square kilometer.

On a good day, the city is peaceful and calm and yes with occasional demonstrations or riots that are largely put under control. Nothing the security organs can not handle really except the chaotic jams common with any progessing City or town anywhere in the world.

Civil unrest inform of demonstrations is not uncommon and occasionally occurs; boda boda riders seem to get unruly when a colleague is murdered while riding late in the night – they have a lot of solidarity you know, when evictions take place without ‘prior notice’ – that’s a reason commonly given in defence. By and large Kampala is a more orderly city now in terms of traffic flow and zoning especially with the creation of the post of Executive director.

With the new order came an aggressive push to implement a number of plans – the so called Kampala Master Plan which stepped on a number of toes. For long time the Master Plan was only a document laying in the shelf of City Hall – the official seat of the Lord Mayor and Executive director and other staff.

To unhold this new order in the city, a number of law enforcement organs were created and old ones given new mandates. Below are the most active and respect or feared if you will.

2. Police’s Field Force Unit

Police Officers On Standby |EastAfrican

‘Kayihura’s boys,’ a more informal name given to the anti riot police. Armed with tear gas and the latest anti-riot gear and with almost a permanent base at city square, they are always on the look-out for any ‘sub-subversive’ activities and are quick to respond. No part of the City is out-of-reach for these guys. You can count on them ASAP, especially when Kiizza Besigye is out of his home.

  • They are a permanent fixture in Kampala’s architectural design that most Kampalans are used to their presence. When they strike, you can be sure for a retaliation from Kampalan’s especially around large residential settlements like Kasubi, katanga, Kalerwe – the K’s you know. Much like Lumumba Hall at Makerere University in those days.

1. KCCA

KCCA officers Effecting An Arrest |Monitor

Commonly known as ‘Musisi’s boys,’ they are the real deal! They send chills down the spine of most road side traders and hawkers that merely wispering their name can set of a stampede especially in areas not gazetted for trading.

They are stealth and cunning with the agility of a leopard that it’s almost impossible to know when they’ll strike.

Having good eye sight for night raids seems to be a requirement for recruitment. Carrots ought to have been one’s staple food.

With high locomotive capabilities, they only need turning two blocks before they’re at an operation site. Kampala is no bigger than a rugby pitch to them, they can tackle from any where when need be.

Not even pedestrians or by-standers are spared. One moment your freely bobbing down a Kampala street, then next you’re being whisked away in one of their pick up trucks. Don’t worry about being ‘oyidde,’ their picks have natural air ventilation. It becomes more enjoyable as you pick up speed.

I wonder if they can handle the so called ‘Kifesi’ – a criminal gang that has made headlines for broad day robbery in the heavy and chaotic jams of Kampala City. No much seems to be known about this criminal gang.

So there you have it. The next time you’re in the Kampala area, try not to invite the above to yourself, you just might not like their VIP treatment. In case you know of any-other, drop a comment or like our Facebook page.

the CARNAGE ON UGANDAN ROADS. WHAT WENT WRONG.

Road accidents

Traffic officers at an accident scene

Aboard a passenger bus, we were awoken by squeecking of tyres and the smashing of glass. It was too short a time to hear the brakes. From all indications, the bus had rammed into the Toyota vehicle infront of us. There were no casualities except for deformed hind of the Toyota – the scratched body and a hind windscreen that lay in fragments with cracks radiating from the site of impact.

Over 97% of freight cargo and 99% of passenger traffic uses road according to this article. Uganda is only second to Ethiopia in registering the highest number of road accidents. Further, Uganda also seems to be well respected by it’s peers when it comes to alcohol consumption. Ugandans ‘tank’ quiet a lot.

It is this state of affairs that has resulted in the authoring of numerous reports decrying the frequency and mortality of accidents on Ugandan roads.

What went wrong

This begs the question: ‘what went wrong’ on Ugandan roads for them to be in such a state of quagmire? Well, quiet a number of reasons have been fronted ranging from over-speeding, sharp corners, blind spots, poor mechanical condtition of vehicles, driving-school-skipping drivers, lacsity in implimentation of traffic laws, e.t.c.

The motives of the driver as well as the passenger have eluded the conversation with the driver getting all the blame. This is were the rubber meets the road.

The drivers and Passengers alike seem to use the opportunity to think abou the many challenges and problems they face in their daily lives that they are nearly in a state of sleep and are only awakened by the sound of other vehicles driving past them, humps and increasingly the sound of squeecking of tyres and breaks. The latter more often that not results into casualities as it’s normally an acciddent.

Nothing is what it seems

Ugandan’s have been known for their warmth at heart and hospitable, a trait that has been key in promoting Uganda’s attractiveness to the world.
Smiles curve on faces almost automatically at the site of a visitor.

This sends the mind into a series of calculations as per the expences on food and other bills to ensure a comfortable visitor, and ofcourse when the visitor is leaving.

Some households prefer to receive a declaration of intent to pay a visit in advance for proper preparations.

The Bottom line

Tragic incidences such as fatal road accidents evoke a lot of emotional outpour and induce a need to protect dear life for both pedestrians, motorlists and motorcyclists. The motives of both driver and passenger are quiet different and need to be fully understood without which all labour in vain. The current interventions can only postpone the inevitable but will not stop offer durable solutions to accidents on Uganda’s roads.

the BREXIT PACKAGE, ANYTHING SPECIAL FOR UGANDA?

Britain and EU flags

Britain voted to leave |VentureBeat

On 23rd June, Britain went to the polls to decide whether they wanted to stay in the European Union (EU) or not. They voted to leave. Within this came a torrent of media stories world over that told the tale of shock and disbelief that had engulfed many global investors at the results of the British referendum, dubbed ‘Brexit,’ despite polls giving the indication that it would be a tight vote. Many called it a blow to globalisation, a rebellion of Britain against the world elite.

Global reaction

This decision sent shock waves around the world as major stock exchanges nosedived into the red as many investors dumped risky assets for safe havens like gold, dollar, yen and Treasuries of stable economies. Big names on the Forbes rich list were hit hard with billions of dollars being wiped off the markets in blink of an eye. A Bloomberg report claimed that Europe’s rich man, Ortega had lost $6 billion dollars. Indeed it was a bad day for capitalism and globalisation.

With one of the biggest economic stories since the economic crisis of 2008, the media went to press doing what they do best: make the most of a bad situation. Think tanks, pundits and all manner of experts looked into their crystal balls to see into what the future held for world economies now that Great Britain had decided to exit the EU. A cloud of uncertainity hang over global markets and it’s effects were known to none.

As the ripples spread out across the inter-connected world, many economies that felt vulnerable embarked on a self assessment of the specific effects the referendum results would be. Financial commentators, economists, professors and all manner of ‘experts’ began brainstorming on the implications of Britain leaving the EU.

The case for Uganda

On the African continent home to most of the frontier markets a cohort to which Uganda finds itself, the implications of the vote began to become more and more clearer as the rest of the continent. Central banks made statements to allay anxiety of their weary investors. It worked some what as most business went on as usual.

Uganda is forging an alliance with it’s neighbours in the East African Community – a regional trade and political bloc that seeks to unite East African states following the model of the EU. This should offer afew lessons. Uganda is only begining to embrace the winds of globalisation as it seeks to position itself in the global village of interconnected states that it finds itself in. A landlocked country that has made commendable efforts in becoming landlinked, a gate way so to speak to the heart of central Africa. This has largely been due to the massive infrastucture developments being undertaken across the country and will boost it’s competitiveness as a viable investment destination.

Fundamentals unsound

But the country is largely dependant on a small agricultural export base of coffee, tea, cotton, etc that struggles to counter the ever rising imports that are in high demand. The sitaution isn’t helped by the subsistence nature of the country’s agriculture, a practice the leadership is trying to address but with little significant progress attained. The economy is yet to be significantly integrated into the global financial network. The gross domestic product (GDP) figures are largely the effort of the services sector with almost no major manufacturing industry to speak of when compare to regional neighbour Kenya. Uganda faces numerous bottlenecks to overcome if it’s to be full global member.

It's business as usual in Kikuubo |Monitor

Most Ugandans engage in small retail trade, the kind that you see in kikubo, a major trading area in down-town Kampala city, Uganda’s capital.

Uganda has always been challenged with unstable economic outlooks from an unstable foreign exchange market, hight unemployment, high political risk as civil unrest steadily rises, inflationary tendencies the repeat themselves in quick successions, low scores at major social indicators and high energy costs. It tells of a country at the periphery of globalisation.

Finally

The strong gripe of culturally inefficient means of production and social life, low uptake of financial services, the rudimentally nature of the country’s agriculture has made most Ugandans inward looking and thus poor candidates for the open, fluid and flexible nature of the world in the 21st century. Thus crippling their full comprehensive integration. And it is this outsideness that will keep Uganda largely insulated from major events that have a financial implications.

With little exposure to the chaotic international environment for most Ugandans leaving such shocks to felt by only the exposed, little will be experienced by most of the citizenry. However, it won’t be for long as the rate of inclusion is accelerating at good speed. Until that happens not much will be made of woes from a far, atleast not YET.