Monday July 22 2013

Living and Loving it: Milking the president’s visit

By Carol Beyanga

I was terribly excited last weekend. You see, his Excellency President Yoweri Museveni visited our neighbourhood. He was not just in the general area, you know Kireka or Kyaliwajjala. He was visiting Namugongo, Jjanda. This is about three or so kilometres away from our house, if you know the right short cuts to take.

So, the President honoured us with his presence. I believe the last time he was here was some years back when he came to celebrate Martyrs Day at the Catholic shrine.

So our children who were born, (and those of us who moved to Namugongo), after that time now had a chance to meet the man.

You do not get the President visiting just about any backyard, so we were excited. You see, the President’s visit comes with many advantages and we had to ensure we milked as much of his presence as possible.

For starters, the man moves with tens (probably hundreds) of soldiers. We saw them on Friday morning, surrounding the entire area, checking this and that.

The roads were full of army trucks. Those soldiers’ mission was to ensure the big man was safe but for us, there was more to glean from them.

Lots of army men means a little less robbery. This was a welcome thought as the last two weeks had seen us witness robbery. A neighbour’s car had been robbed of as many of its parts.

Also, the madam who works in our shop had been robbed of her bag. Heavy military presence would mean less thieving, even if it was only for two days. We were happy to have that.

Traffic police
Then there was the traffic police.

Every once in a while, we have some traffic police at the busy junction in the centre of Kyaliwajjala. It usually helps when they are around because on a very busy day, it can take you about 20 minutes to snake out of an area of just 50 metres. With the traffic police around for two whole days, it meant the traffic was going to be taken care of.

Of course, those who travelled around the time the President actually arrived were inconvenienced by the long convoy, but on the flip side, traffic was better to navigate.

No dust
I think the thing that excited me the most though, was the dusty road. If you live deep in the village (Timbuktu as my friend calls it), you will understand the frustration of washing your car really well the previous night, only to have it looking like a dusty machine that has not seen water, minutes after you have left your home.

A neighbour is even considering moving their child from a school in the environs because of the dust. But all this can change with the President’s visit.

You see, a water truck was hired to spray water on the road to the football field that His Excellency would be giving his speech at. Granted, it was a short stretch. Even then, it was a blessing, especially for those who lived around there. There was no dust for two days!

Indeed, we were honoured to have Museveni visit our little village. We would not have had all these little but important things done for us.

My prayer is that the President will see it fit to either visit all such places around the country really frequently so that we can all benefit, or that he thinks about actually having something done about robbery, traffic and dusty roads.