Daniel Kalinaki's weblog

A commentary on news and events in Uganda and elsewhere


Just an ordinary bloke.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Idle and Random thoughts from today's paper - Part I

KAMPALA - The New Vision reports that the government chemist will soon run DNA paternity tests for just $240. Appropriately, the scheme was launched by Vice President Gilbert 'Mahogany' Bukenya, who, readers of this blog would remember, apparently needs no reminding (or fancy test kits) to know which holes hold his mahogany seeds.

Timothy Bukumunhe, writing in the same paper, tells us about Miss Uganda beauty pageant contestants visiting the cancer unit at Mulago Hospital, complete with the girls, in sponsor's kits, talking to patients. Usually it is Sanyu Babies' Home. I personally fail to see what help these beautiful ladies are to terminally ill patients; give them a reason to try and fight on and enjoy the fine things in life?

Then Daily Monitor has a most surprising caption story on the cover, of more than 400 death row prisoners in Luzira attending a symposium on capital punishment. The prisoners were unanimous in their opposition to the death penalty. Hmn. What a surprise!

Oh, and then there is 'shocking' news that Pastor Kojo Nana, he of the electric shock gadget is wanted back home in Ghana for jumping bail. Could it be that he actually walked free with Ghanaian police too scared to touch him and bring him in lest they were shocked?

The way things are going, nothing is too shocking!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Mayor Ssebaggala throws money down the trash can, ex-President Binaisa talks trash

KAMPALA - I have heard of several cases of waste and public money going down the drain but the latest is quite something. It was reported today that the mayor of Kampala, Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala had spent Shs300 million (about U$185,000), supposedly of public funds, to plaster his face on new garbage cans in the city.

Kampala City Council has a waste-disposal problem on its hands and its efforts to collect and dispose of rubbish in the city are, if you will forgive the pun, rubbish. The usual excuse given is lack of money. So the donation of the trash cans by the advertising firm, Clear Channel, should help the council's efforts, right? Well, until they decide to spend as much on advertising the mayor's face on the cans as the damn things cost!

Why would anyone even want their faces peering out from soon-to-be overflowing trash cans? It is a bit trashy, if you ask me, and the mayor is scrapping the bottom of the barrel on this.

Which brings us to former president Godfrey Binaisa, he he ruled Uganda for about a year at the turn of the 80s, before fleeing abroad to run a very successful legal practice. He was sulking in the news, claiming his allowances, due to him as a former president were delayed and that his five-year-old Mercedes Benz is grounded in the garage over an unpaid bill of slightly more than $10,000.

I think it is ridiculous for us to keep handing out allowances to former leaders, especially those who (a) did little for the country and (b) have worked all their lives and should therefore have pensions or retirement eggs nestled away. The idea, that a guaranteed income after office would keep their hands out of the cookie jar is naive and idealistic.

Presidents are not that highly paid but when and how do they spend their money when all their needs are taken care of while in office? They should be encouraged to save their money for life after state house. I have nothing against Binaisa except when government sticks its hands in my pockets to buy him another walking stick or set of dentures.