Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We need a Kabaka for Buganda not for Baganda

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We need a Kabaka for Buganda not for Baganda.
Since Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s foiled visit to a remote Kayunga district, in eastern Buganda, in September 2009, Uganda’s political landscape has changed quite noticeably. Following the army/police/ military blockade against the Kabaka’s advance team (Prime Minister’s entourage), bloody riots by Baganda youth, Buganda enthusiasts and city goons erupted in Kampala and its suburbs, claiming over thirty lives and unprecedented loss of property worth billions of shillings. CBS radio- Buganda’s mouth piece was closed by government for allegedly inciting ethnic tensions and airing sectarian prejudices. After heavy military and army deployment, Kampala returned to sanity. The president met the Kabaka for the first time in over two years, and reconciliations attempts were made.
With the presidential and general elections early next year, the September 2009 events are threatening to shape Uganda’s political landscape now and in the near future. Kabaka Mutebi’s allies, ministers and henchmen have since jumped into the political arena with blessings from the king himself. Kabaka Mutebi has also used every available forum to urge Baganda to register to vote for next year’s general elections. A pressure group, “Ssubi lya Buganda 2011” (Hope for Buganda 2011) a brain child of the Kabaka’s allies and henchmen is already on the campaign trail gunning for support for candidates that subscribe to Buganda’s ideologies, demands and whims. It is now clear to everyone and more importantly to the NRM regime, that the Kabaka is not a king for launching clan or youth boxing and soccer tourneys, officiating at commissioning of village markets, or popularizing tree planting campaigns. Kabaka Mutebi wants political, social and economic power. He wants a slice of Kampala’s booming real estate business, he wants to influence policy on land, taxation, trade, manufacturing, governance, media etc. So he has dispatched his trusted comrades in the political contests en route the Promised Land (read federo).
But more than ever before, we need a Kabaka for Buganda not for Baganda. From the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, Buganda's boundaries are marked by Lake Victoria to the south, the River Nile to the east, Lake Kyoga to the north and River Kafu to the northwest.[2] To the west, Buganda is bordered by the districts of Isingiro, Kiruhura, Kyenjojo, Kibale, Hoima and Masindi. This implies the great Buganda Kingdom is composed of the following districts- Mubende, Masaka, Luwero, Nankasogora, Nakaseke, Kiboga, Entebbe, Wakiso, Mukono and Kampala. The later three are the centre for Uganda’s economic functions, business, enterprise, administrative infrastructure, health care and tax centres, tourism and recreations hubs, education facilities etc. Furthermore, Buganda is currently inhabited by over twenty local tribes and equal proportion of foreign nations ranging from Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Americans, Ethiopians, French etc all engaged in various sectors – administration, civil service, government, enterprise, trade, business, tourism, education, farming, construction, transport, real estate, diplomatic missions, media, humanitarian work etc. So a Kabaka that can’t stick to cultural issues like language, norms and mannerisms, way of dress, exhibition shows, traditional cuisine etc but decides to seek political and socio-economic power and influence, ought to be king/ Kabaka for all the subjects in his territory not just one ethnic tribe(Baganda in particular).
Kampala/ Buganda have the potential of being a regional and international hub for business, tourism, trade, education and enterprise. It hosted the CHOGM in 2007 and is slated to host the 15th African Union Summit in July 2010. With the East African Common Market that comes with a market of over 150 million consumers, free movement of people, goods and services, I want Kabaka that concerns himself with infrastructure development, better trade and business environment, improved tax policy, human resource development, easy access to information technology facilities etc nothing more nothing less. The East African Common Market, COMESA, and all other aspects of globalization that we cherish e.g international trade, media, sport, education, tourism, enterprise, IT, technology advancement, commercial agriculture, entertainment etc have no place for identities as shallow as Banyakole, Baganda, Masai, Jaluo, Hutus etc. We need to see ourselves as global thinkers, entrepreneurs, sportsmen and global citizens at large. I want a Kabaka for the above mentioned in Buganda. We need such a Kabaka; anyone else won’t take us to the promised land (political and Socio-economic prosperity).
Agaba Rugaba

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ghana's "African" exit at the World Cup

Ghana’s " African" World Cup Exit.
Ghana’s heart-breaking exit from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa has drawn commentary and criticism in many sections of the African media and community chat rooms at large. I can understand the anger and disappointment at Asamaoh Gyan’s failure to convert the decisive penalty kick and Ghana’s failure to negotiate the penalty shoot-out, what i find nauseating are the endless claims that this was an African problem, an African exit and apparently African tendencies and attitudes were written all over it. It is absolute bull crap. Either this is myopic football analysis and or low self esteem on the part of our African commentators or just some souls that haven’t recovered from the shock that came with the defeat.

Football history shoots down any attempt to claim this is an African problem or the so-called African tendencies had anything to do with Ghana’s world cup exit. Legendary Italian striker Roberto Baggio missed a decisive penalty at the 1994 World Cup in USA against Brazil. I watched Del Pierro miss tonnes and tonnes of one-on-one encounters with French goal keeper, Barthez at the European Championships Final in 2000. He wasted chance after chance like a sixteen year old kid from a soccer academy. John Terry missed the decisive penalty against Man UTD in the 2008 Champions’ League final. We all know what that penalty would have meant to John Terry, Chelsea FC and a certain Russian billionaire –Abromavich. The AC Milan team that suffered that shock defeat from a resurgent Liverpool on that crazy night in Istanbul, Turkey was not manned or managed by any Africans.
Michael Ballack has captained or been at the centre of teams that have failed at the final hurdle. I guess he is known to be the chief bride’s maid in European football. He lost a Champions League Final with Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea against Real Madrid and Man UTD respectively. He has lost a World Cup Final and Euro Championships Final against Brazil and Spain respectively. He is not African by any chance.

Cristiano Ronaldo was supposed to rock this World Cup but he didn’t come to the party. Lionel Messi who was supposed to step on the podium (at this World Cup) and receive the mantle from Diego Maradona as this century’s best footballer, didn’t even get on the score board. His biggest contribution was to create an offside goal for Carlos Tevez against Mexico. Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerard, Fernando Torres, Robinho, Andrea Pirlo, Pato, Ricardo Kaka etc have all had poor shows at the World Cup. I don’t know whether these guys have this so-called African DNA engrained in their fiber. They even don’t have African grandparents.

I mean football is full of near-misses, bad days, bad decisions, disappointment, adrenaline-rush-moments etc they are part of the game, and they are good for the game. They engrave the passion in the game and needless to say, they keep the human face to this sport that we love so much. Our lives are characterized by near misses- many people miss being admitted to colleges & schools, getting their dream jobs, making that breakthrough in business, meeting their true love etc. It has nothing to do with one being African or not. To think otherwise is absolute redundancy.

Agaba Rugaba
rugaba.nicholas@gmail.com