Like many who will read this piece, I am born and raised in Kampala, the capital city of the pearl of Africa; Uganda. It’s mostly for that reason; I call this city my own. However, there are things we do to and in this city that no one in their right minds should ever do to their own anything!

Littering is one of our worst vices. It’s true we don’t have enough rubbish bins in this city, but it’s no excuse for our levels of littering. I get so sad and angry when I see someone unwrap a pack of chewing gum, and drop the residue on the roadside as they walk, without a bother in the world. If the city is our own, then who is meant to clean such messes? Is there really no space for that wrapping in your bag until you can properly dispose of it? I once drove behind a really pretty car belonging to a really big international organisation but was so disgusted that the people in the car dropped all kinds of stuff on the road from Bweyogerere to their destination Mukono. Worse still, these are the same people quick to blame city management for the levels of dirt in the city! The only positive out of this experience was that when I tweeted about it, the response was massive, showing that many people do care! While we are at this, I must urge you all; DON’T SPIT in public.

In this era of Jenifer Musisi, we can’t tolerate any more jaywalking! Please mind the GREEN! We like to admire cities the likes of Dubai for things like their well-kept green. Deserts! The irony! All we have to do here is plant the grass and let nature do the rest, yet we fail! For as long as I have lived, Kampala has not had a greener era than we are seeing today so I beg you all, quit jaywalking, use the right paths and walkways.  Mind the GREEN.

Kampala, must we politick all the time and about everything? Aren’t there issues that affect us all, regardless of our political affiliations? Would Cholera tell Yellow from Blue, or Green from Red? Would floods tell whether you have your thumb or 2 fingers up? The answer is NO.

THEFT. Almost about anything can and will be stolen in this city. I once attended a fellowship where Jenifer Musisi was guest speaker and when she shared the losses the city makes from theft, I was shell shocked. These are from the millions stolen in offices, to millions stolen off the streets. I had seen cases of missing street lamps and the likes before, but when she added wires and cables to the list, I was in disbelief. Who digs up wires and cables from feet underneath the ground? Do we love dark streets that much? The market for scrap metal hasn’t helped much on that front either. Priorities friends, priorities! Let’s   all keep the larger picture in mind.

DJ Banji (RIP) liked to say that safely driving in Kampala is more of a talent than a skill. Not everyone can do it, he said. Almost true, but must it be this way? If we all kept the right lane, used our mirrors and signal lights, drove and rode with patience, respected one way roads and drove at the right speeds, how hard would it be to enjoy driving in our city? It’s true of course that the authorities still have work to do when it comes to the standard of our roads, but let this not be an excuse for our road rage and madness!

There is so much we are doing wrong, that would cost us little or nothing to change in this city. I ask that we borrow the 4-way test as we relate with our city! Let’s be honest, fair, build goodwill and we will have a city beneficial to all residents and guests.

Odeon N. Tumwebaze

 

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