RECAP: The last two weeks was that time that our elected leaders looked forward to, and for us, it was time to serve us that swearing-in drama and all that comes with the day. KS Brian was following on the sidelines.
The unanswered prayers
Because a lot of Kampalans were not exactly amused by the kibooko and mistreatment as issued by security the night before, they each earnestly prayed to their God to bring forth a rainstorm and ruin the swearing-in. “With sulphur and acid, if you can Lord…,” one probably prayed.
The weather apps predicted that there would be rain. So, both science and God had to be on the side of the ‘oppressed’, right? Wrong. It didn’t rain. There were no cats. A bit of dogs maybe if Twitter feminists’ interpretation of what dogs are, is universally accepted. Those rained at Kololo Airstrip in well-pressed suits. So even when science was on the side of the people, God wasn’t.
Elders always urge us never to judge a book by its cover. We have attended branding and marketing classes and proved that this is wrong. We can judge a book by its cover. To know that the swearing-in was going to be dramatic, it started on the eve.
The night before the President’s swearing-in, a 7pm curfew was enforced. The prefix ‘en’ was silent. The military was everywhere. The only time Ugandans ever see such large hordes of the military is in US-Vietnamese war movies.
They (military) started arresting, beating and accepting bribes as early as 6:40pm— if my boda guy was to be believed anyway. He once swore he was not drunk only for me to carry him for half the journey because he was. Anyway, more than 1,300 motorcycles were impounded, not counting commuter taxis. Some Ugandans, like their forefathers, had to do their own version of the Great Trek to their homes due to impounded public transport means. Who knew that we would at one point see a government-aided “walk from work” in our lifetime? Take that Dr Besigye.
The rest had to sleep in police cells because they had the audacity to move around without a 50K bribe.
Poorly organised event
It was passed around that the swearing-in was going to cost Shs7b. For a country that has just recovered from alleged misappropriation of tent money by MoH, even a toddler could predict a circus.
First off, the chairs were few. Revellers pointed out that there was small time wresting to win a seat and only the strongest earned one. Full Figure, diplomats and investors were at many points at the mercy of Anite to get them seats—they had been humbled by a few punches from those strong enough to get them the hard way.
Secondly, the chairs were akin to those at an upcountry boujee clan meeting that characteristically starts with elders asking why their Kampala nephew is unmarried at 26, and ends with bull roasting and drinking until that one family member either falls backwards or reveals dark family secrets.
Looking at the US ambassador seated on one, with nowhere to place a bag, was sad. Thankfully, she did not drown in any of the water-filled potholes at the airstrip.
The drama at the presidential swearing-in was not done. We had been fed a very colourful ceremony as seen with the brown water patches and the Ugandan edition of Lil Nas X’s Montero video by those helicopter flag-hoisting acrobats.
The speakers were average. I have seen better sound production at my local nigiina. Like someone said, one would think a local herbs seller had been ambushed and his megaphone used as a last minute stand-in for the ceremony. It was not bad, but it was not Shs7b kind of good, if you get my point.
The Lugandanised oath of office
You know, many a time, the best part of swearing-in was when elected leaders struggled to swear in with the language they were going to use in office. Nothing spelt disaster leadership like this.
It was dramatic. A two-minute oath would take five — the extra three accounting for stammering, spitting and the occasional but accidental biting of the tongue. That is the kind of threat the Queen’s language posed to the newly-elected leaders. An Avengers level threat.
This time, they were not having any of it. Instead of spending three months learning the words of the oath, a smarter chap wrote it for them using Luganda syllables. We missed out on comedy gold.
The fighting wives
The main wife heard the wedding vows right. It was ‘till death do us part’. Not a second wife. And she was not allowing anyone whose National ID did not read “death”, to part her from the husband.
Soroti East City MP, Moses Attan decided that it was a good idea to have his two wives in one place. Despite well documented evidence in the modern world that this is more likely to end in wig-snatching spelled fights, he did it anyway.
And unlike his Biblical namesake who did his best to part the Red Sea, Attan did not do any parting as his wives fought for the best spot beside him. He looked on helplessly like a tethered goat in the rain.
Later, however, while speaking to the media, he said it was a non-issue. I have no idea what this means but my shallow brain seemed to think their fighting was not rare. In fact, something tells me he was calm this time because there was no wailing and spitting of blood.
He further bragged that at least for him, he did not hide his polygamous ways. He was not holding back when he said he knew many colleagues with tens of wives but who were too shy to bring them forth. Yeah, Hon Attan, it is because two wives is a fight. Ten would be a Royal Rumble. It would be a Mortal Kombat tournament. I, for one, support them. I rather be shy than a referee to a blood bath of 10 wives.
Geoffrey Lutaaya embarrasses wife
Celebrated band musician won an MP seat in Kakuuto. About a decade or so prior, he was a recurring punchline for lack of academic papers.
He had dropped out of school to pursue what was a very paying music career. When his art stopped paying as well as it was, he decided to go back to school and work on his academic qualifications to fish in Uganda’s most paying pond— politics.
He did. And is now an MP.
However, when asked why his wife did not stand, with a spring in his feet, overflowing with confidence, the former Eagles Production musician said his wife was a dropout.
The wife— who at first was smiling at the husband’s achievement, wasn’t amused by this comment and her facial expression was that of one who had got an invisible slap in the face. Her smile disappeared faster than Samalie Matovu’s music career.
I am not the one with experience in marriage but I know who slept in the guest room that night.
All in all, never change Uganda. Oh we could use a little change for the better but keep these doses of comedy rolling. It is the only coping mechanism we have since bars are yet to open.
Mohammed Ssegirinya swears in
There were corridor rumours that Mr Update wouldn’t swear in on D-day for two reasons.
Someone had challenged his win on grounds of inadequate academic papers. The challenger, insisted that Ssegirinya did not go to school and spent a tonne of his school time hunting underground honey or stoning mangoes.
One thing led to another, the accusations drove Ssegirinya to the streets to demonstrate where he ended in jail hence reason two.
b.His family informed the public that he would not swear in because he had problems with his liver that he got from prison.
Turns out the liver problem was not serious enough to deter him from swearing. Since he is a devout Muslim, I sort of understand why the liver endured.
You would think that MPs are the most elite —the best of the rest, in the country. It paints the idea that maybe they would all—with their entourages, dress to the function of this glamour and importance. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
Ayivu East MP, Godfrey Feta, rewarded his chief mobiliser and brother Godfrey Atiku with a trip to Parliament as a thank you for his gruelling efforts to win him the election.
Mr Atiku, aka Papa Wemba, decided that now was the time to make his little light shine. Clad in a double belt excuse for a trouser, a tucked in tie, Atiku in one day, abused all the laws of fashion to the point that if Fashion Police did really exist, he would have been arrested. The gentleman looked like a clown that had failed circus auditions.
Fair play to him though, he earned the moment and the spotlight.
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