Before I start my submission for day 17, I want to point out something I noticed from the world bank, on 20th June the International day for refugees they released $ 900 million to Uganda to improve the standards of refugees, since Uganda host some of the highest numbers in the world. I was thinking what if this money was invested in conflict resolution after all the war in South Sudan and the instability in DR Congo is more about money and resources. It’s a current affair but it needs its own blog.
I must admit not bragging today is a cup of coffee since I have a great interest in current affairs. But what topic will I take on, I have an aggressive approach to current affairs because most times they try Ubuntu in us. At the moment the society is fade up with things to do with the pandemic so if am to go that way I have to carefully. But I also have to remember why I blog. There is serious talk about racism in the world so it would be unjust to the future if I don’t say nothing about it. Here at home in Uganda there is talk of a new style of the electoral process leading to the polls of 2021. There is also the November election of the Free World.
Let me start with my African village Uganda. So during the previous electoral process the Internet used to be slowed down and on the polling day, it was switched of for those who use social media as the Internet which most Ugandan do. It was a joke to many but for people like me, it was a big insult and a bad signal for the future because it had characteristics of old days coups when communication would be taken down in the event of overtaking a regime.
Now because of the pandemic the body in charge of preparing and running the polling procedure has come up with a decision which seems unconstitutional but am not a legal person to determine, but they are pushing a head with the election the only adjustment is that there are no rallies and campaigns have to be conducted online, making the internet the win of the elections.
In Uganda at the moment we spend about $ 3 to use social media, they call it a tax but it doesn’t meet the legal parameters because we don’t even us Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) to pay it. It’s something these brainless politicians came up with to reduce gossip online, how bizarre. Forgive me for the language. The good thing they are set to test their own medicine.
In Africa 1 in 4 people have some form of contact with the internet according to Al Jazeera as of last week. A ratio am a bit critical to because in Uganda out of the said 42 million Ugandans about 2 million can access the Internet and about 1.6 million are active these internet people don’t even vote. I don’t think 50,000 people on Twitter in Uganda can wake up to go make lines in the heat and vote. Uganda’s poll day turn up is like 8 million.
I have been to place in Uganda where they listen to news on radio stations from neighboring countries, they are that remote or we have poor infrastructure in place. How comes we know what is happening in the world and can not know what is happening a few 100s of kilometers. Anyway, the polls in Uganda are a formality, more like a drill for the future maybe. But I expect digital content creators to take up the moment and plunder the politicians. For the first time at least.
The pandemic is changing life as we have always known it to be. Businesses are going under and we are losing jobs, governments are ceasing to function to extents of resorting to player and fasting. For some reason am happy that Trumps first campaign was a fail because people respected the pandemic, Americans love Trump but they couldn’t risk their lives. COVID has proven that those who mock it the virus have not faired well, I think PM Boris can testify to that and his father. We meanwhile don’t know what happened in Burundi but the late President’s wife had the virus at some point.
The pandemic has changed the social, economic and political narrative on issues that we have always avoided to address. There is dialogue on sexual violence, pedophilia and additional demons of society which is a step in the right direction. The biggest demon is that of racism and nationalism that is leading the talk. Racists are nationalist on the apex. Everyone of us has faced racism and for some of us who have been pushed to the limit we nearly became racists ourselves to make it. In Africa we have our own problems be have the ability to help fight racism on it’s new frontier. We have the blue print on the war. In Uganda there used to be a hotel that initially was for whites and this is across the continent at least I have seen it in Nairobi before. The hotel has since played to change. But it feels like those South African cities like Port Elizabeth where the economics chases away locals. But apart from the hashtags and tweets we can’t help those facing the vice a lot of they don’t take the lead on serious and fundamental moves. It’s up to them to decide how they are going to forge their way forward. If you have read Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom you must have noticed that at first he was not in favor of a radical approach that Africa was pushing on him. He decided not to even finish his training in Ethiopia. But his comrades to military action seriously and when he was in prison they were all over Africa training and they did put some pressure on the apartheid regime through Urban terrorism that led to the talks.
For our brothers and sisters, we can support them as they match on cities and takedown monuments if it’s what is working for them we support them, but doing the same thing, again and again, expecting a different result is not so wise. We shall support what they prefer.