As 2019 starts, KCCA management, led by the acting executive director, Eng. Andrew Kitaka, rolled out key city programs expected to be implemented in the next six months.
Some of these programs include renovation of the old taxi park, enforcement on noise pollution, paving of road walkways and verandahs and Kasubi market reconstruction, among others.
If these programs are implemented as planned, I have no doubt that the City will have a completely different image form its current state. However, it’s important to note that implementation of such city programs will no doubt affect some individuals or institutions and, therefore, may face opposition based on flimsy grounds.
For example, enforcement on noise pollution will force some affected individuals or institutions to seek protection from “powerful figures” in government.
Likewise, some city politicians may oppose some programs in order to please their voters. By and large, opposition to these good programs will lead to delays in their implementation, which in the long run will cost government, hence leading to wastage of public resources.
Therefore, in order to successfully implement these planned KCCA programs, I advise that we keep politics out of the implementation of programs.
Rural roads need urgent attention
A lot has been done to improve our national roads, and government should be commended for that.
However, a lot more needs to be done to improve the rural roads. I have visited different districts in Uganda and I have noted that many of the roads in rural areas are still impassable especially during rainy seasons!
What still puzzles me is the fact that the government facilitated almost all districts with the necessary road equipment, which would be used to improve these roads! Then, where does the problem come from?
Do the ministries of Local Government and Works and Transport do enough inspection in different districts to make sure that roads are well maintained in rural areas? Does the Finance ministry give enough funds to the districts to work on these roads?
As a sample, one can visit the districts of Gomba, Mityana or Mpigi to prove my case. If we are to transform Uganda to a middle-income status, we must work hard towards the improvement of roads especially in rural areas.
Our children should be proud of and learn their native language
I recently landed on Sayeh Yousefi’s article, “The Importance of Children Learning their Native Languages,” published by the Novak Djokovic foundation.
In it, Sayeh presents the benefits vis-à-vis the risks of children not speaking their native languages.
In a world of growing intersectionality and diversity, it’s no longer rare to find children with several ethnic backgrounds or upbringing, which actually isn’t necessarily negative. However, Sayeh argues that children who have been raised in a society where they have been exposed to multiple languages, have a unique pathway ahead of them when it comes to education and social development.
While exposure to such diversity at a young age may incredibly lead to creating an open-minded and diverse youth, it may also confuse the child and create lack of sense of identity and belonging, a vital element of social development.
Learning one’s native language, particularly at the early childhood years, can combat the lack of sense of identity and belonging and can foster a positive social development.
For example, Sayeh argues that research has attributed the rampant substance abuse, unemployment and mental health problems amongst native Americans partially to the loss of cultural identity.
It is also partially true that many children lack interest in education because they are missing some degree of personal connection to the things they are learning.
In many communities in Uganda, some native languages are rapidly losing prominence e.g. Kebu and Lendu in West Nile. This is actually not in line with Uganda’s policy of promoting native languages as a medium of instruction at the lower levels of primary education.
Let us embrace music in Uganda’s politics
If there’s any hope for a better Uganda, it lies in effective communication. And if there’s any hope for effective communication, it lies in music through all media platforms.
Since music is a strong way of expressing inner thoughts and feelings, it reveals the political views and stands of people, thus serving as a political tool. Music has the power to get massive crowds pumped up, which is why it is used to bring support to various causes.
In war times, governments used music as propaganda to boost nationalism and promote fighting. Basing on history, music and politics are inseparable. Music is just not about entertainment, it’s the reflection and expression of people.
Therefore, music serves humans as their truth bearer. So, the political use of music should be done strongly and continuously.
Music’s irresistibility and ability to change people’s ideas forms an integral part in public. Any political side can use music to promote their beliefs. Music festivals should be seen as the biggest event to show youth’s resistance to government’s poor policies or appreciating its good work, while uniting the general young population.
Therefore, music should help to reshape the community and unite youth. Music should create a better way of living for us. For many times, music was used to inform the society about various issues.
In a nutshell, we should know that music is a reflection of people and the political issues at a hand. Music brings support to various causes. It is said that music is irrelevant with politics, but people define themselves with music and search for some political views. Therefore, music is an effective political tool.
I urge the government to look at music in two ways: either serving or rebelling against its dominant institutions.
Let’s not restrict concerts of one individual because of his or her political opinions. That’s unfair and unconstitutional with regard to equality and freedom of expression. We cannot have the same political views even in the most democratic country.
But what I ideally believe is that we can peaceful agree and disagree with each other through effective communication.