Please, ban fish consumption and tax all signs of happiness

This year it has been raining policy proposals in Uganda. Very exciting, if you asked me.

Most interesting of these were the suggestions to introduce more taxes, confiscate idle money on Ugandans’ accounts, abolish Mailo land tenure, and to ban local consumption of Nile perch, so that it is exclusively spared for export.

Nile perch brings in a lot of foreign revenue you know, and nothing matters more than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures. So we are on the right economic truck, at least by the standards of 18th Century Adam Smith and his invisible hand economics. 

But the bigger reason for my excitement lies elsewhere. You see, Ugandans are a special kind of human species. Yes, we have been denied our Nobel Prize for the Politeness category, yet we keep our cool to the shock of the world. You can even pee in our mouths as we smile.

Baganda talk of the nose when they want to caution one not to take their cool for granted. They say that when you press the nose a lot it bleeds. Well, you can squeeze the nose of a Ugandan until it bleeds dry without any fear of a response.

We have gone through a lot, so we say. Therefore, we do not want to annoy our tormentors into ‘taking us back’ to our olden trouble. The oppressor knows it too, that we were severally bitten before, and therefore would run at the sight of a rope. The corrupt leader knows it too, especially with the boldness gathered in over 36 years at the helm, that the victims can do nothing more than exercising their miserable mouths by vain speech.

We have known it for ages, that the insect that doesn’t bite, becomes the children’s play cow. So, if anyone out there ever feels like kicking, kick a Ugandan. No worries, they won’t get annoyed.

They might even clap for you as you kick them. It is us that a leader tells in the face that he is not our servant, and we clap back; that none of us has ever helped him along his life path, and we ululate. Someone pee on a Ugandan. We won’t be mad dear.

We are that wife that was beaten so badly whenever she tried to speak out her pain. Now she speaks in tongues, surrendering all to God. She left and came back. Her breasts were badly squeezed in the last fight. Now she is where her abusive husband wants her to be, in a mute state of feigned happiness. She should act like all is well. What alternative does she have?

Dr Besigye would say that ‘Uganda has a steady supply of idiots’. But I would put it differently, since I can’t speak his Portuguese.

On one side you have fools that will dig their graves with their teeth. Call them ‘gluttons’ in English. On another side you have lumpens that still count on the good will of the glutton as they are getting swallowed to the tail. If I was not brought up in politeness I would have called them ‘idiotic martyrs’. So I will call them ‘good citizens’.

Good citizens diligently pay taxes, without getting too entitled as to poke their noses into how the taxes are spent. Good Ugandan citizens are supposed to know that social services like functional hospitals and schools are favours from the the state. A good citizen knows when to shut up, or else she might be serviced by a drone. Somebody kick a Ugandan; he feels no pain.

Stop them from consuming empuuta (Nile Perch). It is too good to be wasted on their inconsequential appetites, spare it for our European friends that know its value and therefore merit the taste and nutrients. Ugandans have enough Mukene (silver fish) to fill their saucepans and good for nothing stomachs. Isn’t Mukene more fish? I heard them say small is beautiful. 

They have been eating mugongo wazi (Nile Perch bones) for a while now, did you hear them protest? Darwin’s Nightmare? Crap!

This lake is not called Apio, Ssemuwemba or Apuuli. A little reminder might do. It is Lake VICTORIA, daah. You noise maker at the lake shores, is Victoria one of your damn ancestors? So, let the owners of the lake pick out what they want. You will still eat what they don’t need. Be thankful?

You don’t need to respond. No one wants your wretched opinion. Just make sure the lake and its fishes are protected. You will be a good citizen. Long live the Queen! Today is not 9th October for ceremonies. What will you do anyway? Frown until your face looks like the terraced hills of Kigezi, the wish of the powerful will still take the day. Somebody slap a Ugandan.

She is not angry enough. Steal her election, she will still look on like a drunken rabbit stuck in mud. Something ate up her courage. Bang her chest, she might be resuscitated.

Kidnap her children and return them emaciated and limping. Steal her medicine, keep her hospitals in a sorry state. Kill her railway transport, but make sure she hears of the progress happening across the borders. Kill her cooperatives. Tax her to the knickers. Let her save with you, and then tell her you can’t pay her midway since the money is not there.

Is she angry enough? Not yet. You see? I told you. She hasn’t had enough yet. She is still generating humour on social media and laughing out loud. Oh yeah, Ugandans are still happy. What a pity! Government has failed. What else can we touch? Land? This is not good comrades. A cat that you severally kick and it comes back to your lap must be possessed. Help make these people angry enough.


The author is a teacher of philosophy.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd