Coronavirus: Perfect excuse to lock out bodas, taxis

Sunday March 22 2020


By Jacobs Seaman Odongo

I slapped the pavements of Main Street in Jinja Town last weekend for a quick deal with Kakwenza Rukirabashaija. The guy with a long name was going to sell me a copy of his book, The Greedy Barbarian.

But I didn’t know him so I imagined that for a fella whose Facebook posts come in big and complex diction, he would be a ‘heightically’ challenged species of a human. You know they say short people are megalomaniacs and tend to look for confidence in big deeds and words.

I spotted him as I texted to say I was in a bright green Liverpool top and grey tourist shorts. To say he invented the word lanky would be to humour the gods of height. He is this tall, I felt so challenged. To worsen the matter, I didn’t have the money for buying his book but he had insisted on seeing me. I ended up nipping utility cash hoping to pay Umeme later.

Kakwenza reached into his backpack and fished out a copy of the book. As I pursed my lips to ask how much it went for, he handed me a crispy 20k note. I tried to protest but I could feel myself as feeble and effete as a school bully given a lift by the head teacher.
Imagine going to buy a book and returning with both the copy and its worth in cash. From the author himself.

That is something even Prof Niaz Safraz wouldn’t pull off even if he removed his dark glasses and fake grey beards to reveal his true identity. I am more doubly sure that Mathias Magoola, that Busoga chap, and whoever else joined in making our dear President look like a telly-tubby without a script, would agree, too.

Kakwenza gave me a free patent to read The Greedy Barbarian. At least this is a legit patent, not like what the Speaker is selling the nation. Also, the book doesn’t insult our Ministry of Health’s genuine efforts in securing the safety of the nation.


However, I am not done reading though the way this Kakwenza guy keeps drawing in subplots of shrines and traditional African occult, you might think he was the resident witchcraft consultant and advisor to the shady cronies who told Leo that they have discovered sanitisers that can cure the coronavirus virus.

The shady fellas donating patents to Uganda interrupted my reading. Then I resumed only to be interrupted by a friend called Kenny. Kenny Kazibwe to be exact.

This Kyetume islander is so angry he might patent anger just because KCCA has redesigned city streets to cater for pedestrian and cyclists lanes. Kenny no longer even goes to saloon; he just plucks his hair while in a trance of anger. His case?

Apparently, the redesign is the bane, the cause of the mother of all traffic congestions in his area code. I have tried to reason that he should migrate from that 1986 mentality and join us in 2020 but wapi. He even told me to go and drink my urine, which I do religiously regularly, of course – to prevent diseases, not to fight traffic jam!

Now, as a self-appointed senior presidential advisor on Kampala, I am urging Museveni to abandon the eat-and-let-eat politics of massaging menace. Just put bodas and taxis out of the city. They must only operate in the outskirts, limit bodas to a handful and bring public buses.

Someone says this would send all the other lot into crime due to joblessness. But then again, if we have money to fight non-existent locusts and preen for coronavirus sanitiser patent, then we can have enough to fight crime as well. The Chinese just execute criminals. We can recruit a few as executioners. It works.
Now, Leo has a very solid justification on his hands.

Yes, it’s that virus. As nations restrict public crowding, let’s just put taxis and bodas out of the city centre. By the time the virus is gone, we would be too used to sanity to revert to insanity.
Someone share Lucy Nakyobe’s contact so I can send my claim form. In this pandemic moment, there are no free services.