Wednesday April 13 2011

Response to Walk-to-Work campaign

It’s our right
For years I have been disturbed by the way Ugandans behave when they are oppressed and just keep quiet. However, the recent ‘Walk-to-Work’ protest against the ever rising cost of living is a good sign that Ugandans are ready to stand up when they feel the government is not concerned about their suffering. When we are struggling with high school fees, food and fuel prices, how can someone who has been in power for 25 years, want Shs3 billion for a swearing-in ceremony?

I challenge the opposition and civil society organisations to organise more protests not only in Kampala but in other parts of the country. I was angered when Minister Kabakumba Masiko told the press media that the government could not do anything about the high prices. My God, Kabakumba, then call on your government to resign because you have failed in your roles.I am sure even with Shs30 million, the President can be sworn-in in a simple ceremony at the State House since he is just handing over power to himself.
Tema Kafeero,
Nansana Wakiso

Differentiating walkers
I think the Inspector General of Police is about to find himself between a rock and a hard place. How are his forces going to differentiate between genuine walkers and demonstrating walkers.
From the state of things, they may have to issue a ban on walking! Short of that, many innocent people are going to be locked up for walking. On the other hand, what charges are going to be preferred against those presumed suspects? With the prevailing fuel prices that are skyrocketing, many more people are going to end up walking anyway. Compounding their problem will be the riot police!
Amailuk J,

Facebook comments
What the Uganda Police did was undemocratic. Earlier, Police chief Kale Kayihura cautioned the public on TV, in a very alarming tone, that the opposition were planing to cause disorder in the city. Unfortunately, his predictions turned out to be committed by his own men. If what they were doing was right, why were they not transparent? They blocked journalists from doing their job in Ntinda? I was around Jinja Road Police Station and when Olara Otunnu, the UPC president, arrived, he was stopped by policemen from meeting DP president Norbert Mao (who was in police custody) claiming it was an ‘order from above’. Who are these people from above?
Kareemon Boxstar

I saw the footage on Kenyan media...that was shameful and disgusting; shame on you, Uganda police! And what is “we have orders to arrest you!” Orders from where? The Ivorian dictator is gone and so will be the Libyan tyrant. We must get rid of dictatorial regimes in Africa!
Ritchie Mwangi

As an economist, all those in support of the demos are wrong. The government has nothing to do with increased prices because Uganda is a liberal economy where forces of demand and supply determine prices. If the government is to reduce prices then there will be a black market or hoarding done by producers. This will lead to shortages.
Timothy Bwalhuma

Bwalhuma, you are an economist, yes, but who controls the country’s GDP? What about the country’s interest rates? The consumer price index is determined by the government with the amount of taxes imposed on the commodities. We need to reason, not to look at demand and supply which is Senior Five economics. The country can prioritise where to put it’s money and our priority is to support the army. Read the budget properly. The funding of Netherlands to support agriculture in Uganda was all embezzled, go to districts/ sub-counties and see who gets the tenders. Corruption is the order of the day and believe you me, by now if the money for Naads was to be invested correctly, we would have enough for our country and if you have surplus, why should prices go up?
Amos Sekibule

When will African governments live up to positive criticisms and democratic exercise to allow citizens have a peaceful demonstration that is enshrined in the Constitution? Let’s respect the rule of law and treat citizens the way presidents would wish to be treated when they constitutionally, democratically and peacefully leave power! Power is not for permanency!
Vincent O. Nyamache

We shall not allow lawlessness in this country. The hiking of fuel prices has to do with the situation in the Arab world and is affecting economies all over the world. The rise in oil price has a direct impact on whatever we do. Does that need a demo? I’m sure [the opposition] had a hidden agenda. If it is the law, why not abide? Yes, it’s our right to demonstrate but is it in line with the law? Let’s be realistic.
Bashir Bakari

Bakari, how can you explain the consistent loss of value of the shilling against all other currencies? People are dying of malaria but President Museveni is buying tear gas trucks and fighter jets. Is all that also caused by the unrest in the oil exporting countries?
Kamihingo B. Atwooki

The Bakaris of this world have chosen to be blind even when their eyes have no biological defects; the injustices directed against Ugandans are numerous: vote rigging, exorbitant living cost, unacceptable devaluation of our currency, poor institutionalism in governance, the list is endless. How, then, do you explain the fact that young economies like Rwanda have remained stable even in the face of these Arab world uprisings? Grow up and face reality! Your cadres are poor managers, accept it now.
Vincent A. Acema

99 per cent of the people who put on the uniform for the Uganda Police Force are a disgrace to the institution they supposedly work for. They claim to have a cd of the opposition training militias to cause chaos-hopefully it’s not similar to the one we used to watch daily on the TV of police training crime preventers.
If the police had issued an order, why then didn’t they arrest everyone on foot? Why arrest only some specific individuals? Shame to the police captains who were used in this injustice, and shame to the judges in the courts of law who even gave such nonsense an audience.
Jolly J. Wasswa

The opposition MPs have got all the campaign mileage they would have ever wished for! I bet they are rueing why this did not happen before the elections so that we would probably be singing a totally different song right now! Over to you dear compatriots with your police force which is now “well-equipped”...oh, how I cry for my taxes which I pay diligently, at great discomfort to me and my family, for it to be wasted in this way.

James Omara-Ogwang

I think we should look at the causes of the demonstration and act upon them. Come on, if I decide to walk to work to show my disgust with every thing going on, why should you arrest me? Why not find a solution to my problem?
Susan Juliet