Early this week, hundreds of private car owners took to streets, roads and what not across the country in celebration of the partial easing of lockdown.
Millions of unmasked pedestrians before them have been permanent furniture in major trading centres and ‘stations’, with most just meeting up for an early game of ludo and crude waragi during the two months of total lockdown.
The mass attack on the streets followed guidelines announced by the President during one of his dozen Covid-19 addresses, stating that, among others, Ugandans will be able to ‘…bla bla bla.’
And trust Ugandans to ‘bla bla bla’ like their lives depended on it.
One of those drivers was yours truly, who on late Monday evening, uncovered my dusty Premio and ordered my children to wash it in anticipation of ‘just driving to Kampala so that I can test the waters.’
A mechanic was also on hand to fix anybits that could have broken down, setting me back some 250K but what the hell.
The next day, I rolled out the car, right hand elbow hanging from the driver’s door and a kitenge mask on, enduring a three-hour jam from Mityana to our local kafunda which was already filled up by regular patrons and some newbies craving a drink and lugambo – by noon.
Here, in between drinks and skewers of roast pork delivered by the ‘almost famous’ Kyadondo Rugby Club duo of Mike and David, we cursed truck drivers, discussed the recently released Covid figures, agreed to disagree on the increasing cases of domestic violence. Without observing social distance, Subaru owners and those Najjera-Buwate posers were not spared either. If some of our bosses heard the things we said about them, most of us would be looking for new jobs.
The free-flowing conversation and drinks saw us chat up until 7pm. And just like several Ugandans and their kajanja, heavier gridlock found me on my way
When I was arrested by the police for defying curfew and bundled up together with people I believe had the virus, I had no answers. I am still freaked out.
I have not left the house since I returned the next morning and have since become a strong advocate for another month of lockdown. In fact, I cannot wait for the next Museveni@Eight Show.
Why? Well, largely because Ugandans are big-headed. Maybe this way, we can think about prioritising our health. I wish.