Archive for ‘Only in Uganda’

October 14, 2011

Not The Noble Hun

It disturbs me no more to find men base, unjust, or selfish than to see apes mischievous, wolves savage, or the vulture ravenous.

So said Jean Paul Satre

Begging the question, therefore, why I am still disturbed by local and international news reports of the increase of child sacrifice in Uganda.

Read and weep.

Oh Uganda! We’re not a nation of noble savages after all.

March 6, 2009

But Re.a.lly!





I know I am not impartial where Museveni is concerned, but gundi gwe, the Mulaalo Mukubwa is not funny at all. True, he’s intelligent, astute, perceptive and scarily shrewd, but the only reason we laugh when speaks is because we laugh when he speaks.  What would we do otherwise?  


Kakati can someone please give Tamale Mirundi a job?  Given the quality of writing in this article, perhaps he can find employment as editor at Ultimate Media. 

February 23, 2009

Picture of the Day of Last Week and Other Randomnities



Not for nothing, but did you know it was illegal to take pictures at Kololo Airstrip?


I took this picture on Wednesday last week.  The airstrip has a great panoramic view of Kampala City.  As I took the third picture, a pair of policemen motioned to me.  One of them had a gun.  I thought … oh oh!  The second policeman was a senior officer person.  I’m not good with police ranks, but he was one of those with three stars on his shoulder.


Policeman: How are you?

Me: It depends on how you are.

Policeman: I am well.  My name is Saul, by the way.

Me: Mine is Tumwi.

Policeman: Miss Tumwi, I am placing you under arrest.

Me: (incredulously) What?

Policeman: I am placing you under arrest for taking a picture of a high security zone.

Me: What?

January 12, 2009

So This Thing Called Industry

Today I was informed that Uganda has absolutely no matchbox factory.  And we call ourselves a least developing country?


Three Cranes matches, the only surviving factory collapsed last year

I am depressed.

January 7, 2009

Bad Journalist, 33, Looking for a Job

“You know, you’ve got a lot to learn about journalism.  Look at it this way.  News is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read.”


This quote from a seasoned reporter in Evelyn Waugh’s hilarious Scoop could very well describe the philosophy of journalism in Uganda.  You see, in my country, the phenomenon of a thinking journalist is a dying one.  It appears that any semblance of critical thought has been replaced by mediocrity and journalists bhave convinced themselves of the lie that the audience is as dumb as they are.


I’m not being harsh.  I too am journalist.  A Ugandan journalist.  I exercise critical thought only on my birthday and public holidays.


But seriously.

November 3, 2008

Money, Madness, Magic, Monday

The Game Stores in Kampala this week have on sale a Totally Useless Implement. For Ushs 379,000 you can get yourself a Garmin car navigation system.


Useless what and what

Useless what and what


A car navigation system.  In Kampala.  Hahahahahahaha!

May 2, 2008

Raise the Banner

My nephew, Jotham, is quite the little reader. Everything – books, bottle labels, sign posts, strange slogans on taxis, clothing tags – fascinates him. So of course he couldn’t resist reading this banner advertising this weekend’s concert for the Nigerian duo, P-Square.


This is the thing. How on earth to I explain to a 5-year-old what the title of the concert means?

April 18, 2008

Sometimes Ahaaa is all I can say

I have been so overwhelmed with the tragedy at Buddo Junior School that I haven’t had time to comment on what to me is the most ludicrous action of the Cabinet in Uganda since the year begun.

December 17, 2007

You Know a Restaurant is Really Bad When …


December 11, 2007

Ebola and CHOGM: Exaggeration, Cover Up or Lies?

From a ridiculously hot Bundibugyo, greetings! 

I thought a town nestled in the mountains would be cool with a fresh breeze blowing across the valley, but alas not.  It is hot and dusty and feels like I am in Kivuulu and not thousands of miles away from the Kampala madness.

But mad, this place is not.  The grass is being slashed and district offices are being given the once over because the mukubwa at the Ministry of Disease (or Ministry of Health for you) is visiting town.  Three weeks after Ebola epidemic was officially declared, three weeks after seven senior health officers died, three weeks of fear and isolation, Stephen Malinga has decided to ‘grace’ Bundibugyo town with his presence.


Every once in a while you land on information that makes you say ‘aha’.  Like information that when the Ebola epidemic first broke out in Bundibugyo district in August this year, a Ministry of Health team diagnosed it as worms and ordered for a massive de-worming campaign to contain the disease.


Here’s a brief rundown on the history of the epidemic as it was told to me by a highly-placed source in Bundibugyo.

Mid August 2007

The Senior Clinical Officer at Kikyo Health Center IV, about 14 kilometers from Bundibugyo town, reports that a number of patients turning up for treatment are displaying strange symptoms.  They have very high fevers, severe abdominal pain and diahorrea.  He says attempts to treat for malaria are futile and requests for urgent help.

September 2007

Patients referred from Kikyo to Bundibugyo Hospital.  A brief analysis by the Medical Superintendent, Dr. Stephen Ssesanga says the mysterious disease are intestinal worms and asks Kikyo to consider deworming and sensitization.  A team consisting of Luswa Lukwago, Godfre Bwire, Aidah Kaihindo, Julius Lutwama and Andrew Bakanga arrives in Bundibugyo to study to Kikyo situation.  After only one day at the Health Center, the team members conclude that indeed, the disease is caused by an infestation of askaris intestinal worms and recommend the mass de-worming of all adults in the area.

October 2007 

In the report dated October 5th, the team also made administrative recommendations for an appropriate system for admitting severe or highly infectious patients to be put in place and said the health center should be assisted to repair its ambulance.


November 2007

Doubts persist regarding the diagnosis made and on November 6th the Bundibugyo Chief Administrative Officer sends a second team headed by the late Dr. Jonah Kule to investigate the disease.  Dr. Kule, who died of Ebola last week, ruled out worms and said some type of typhoid fever was suspected, but said it was important that a more skilled team should be brought in to assess the situation.


November 10th a new group of Ministry of Health Staff led by Dr. Joseph Wamala and Dr. Atai Omurut arrived in Kikyo.  They take with them protective gear and draw blood samples from the patients.   Samples are sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease control laboratories in South Africa and Atlanta and for the next two weeks the team remains in Kikyo studying the patients and assisting in their treatment. 

November 28th it is confirmed that Ebola is the cause of death in Bundibugyo and an epidemic is declared.

I have seen the documentation.  I have talked to the medical staff.  This is my conclusion:  I don’t know what happened in the two weeks between the time when blood samples were taken and when Ebola was declared.  However, the CHOGM cover up story seems most unlikely. 

But what do I know for sure?  I am just a non-journalist who fled the boredom of Kampala for a maladventure in Bundibugyo.  Or maybe I am a spy with the KGB …


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