Locked up in Kampala; my personal experience

Saturday April 4 2020

Asuman Bisiika

Asuman Bisiika  

By Asuman Bisiika

Since 2017, I have been spending most of my time in the jungles of Luweero minding my sorry peasant business. Of course, we have a small muzigo in Kawempe; just in case…
Since the year began, I have come to Kampala four times; the most memorable being when a senior executive of Bank of Uganda called me out to lunch only to take me to the staff canteen on the top floor of their office block. No heaven for such a man…

For this take, I came to Kampala on Sunday March 15. My first premonition that this could be a bad visit was when I abruptly fell sick on the day I was supposed to meet my UNAU friend. On Tuesday March 17, I woke up feeling a concrete block in my chest and I could not breathe properly. I re-scheduled the meeting for Friday.

But on Wednesday, March 18, government announced the closure of educational institutions on Friday March 20.
As I was struggling with my sorry life, I got a message requiring me to pick my child tomorrow (Thursday, March 19) from school. And then my sister (in a quintessentially Ugandan way) called seeking some assistance.

I told my sister about the challenge of picking Junior from school. She just reproved me: How can you worry over an 18-year-old man in S6 (boy will make 18 in May), when we used to walk 20km (to and from school) aged only six years? That sort of brought me home: Well, can’t junior just bring himself home?

One way or the other, junior found his way home to my relief; and the little fool even wondered why I had worried over him. He even reminded me how he was in the ‘highest candidate class’ in the country.

Now, since March 19, I have had to put up with a man who thinks being in ‘a candidate class’ is such a big achievement. And needless to say, we seem to be getting on each other’s nerves more often than is good for our health.


You tell ‘someone in a candidate class’ that this is not the time to read Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and he responds: Daddy, ebyo bindekere. Sometimes, I wish I was my father; I can testify he could not take such a response to his advice.

In September 2019, I bought four roosters from Luweero and brought them to Kawempe. We were supposed to eat them on December 25, but by November, we only had one which I have popularised as the Rooster of Kawempe.

And then boy bought six hens (without my knowledge; my father would not take that lightly) and I decided that ‘I should not eat’ the rooster of Kawempe because he was going to use it to breed with his hens. Since I am not my father, I just let things go. Now, the hens have given him about one hundred eggs (Makonzo). Guy is so excited he is even counting one hundred chicks.

When government blocked public transport, boy didn’t worry reasoning: kasta ffe we have our own car. A week later, when private vehicles were banned (in addition to a dusk to dawn curfew), this is when he seemed to appreciate the gravity of the situation.

Since he seemed to appreciate the gravity of the situation, I made a declaration: all chickens in this home are now part of the emergency food stocks.
Guy has agreed on condition that each chicken will be ‘stocked as food’ at a cost of Shs35,000. Being short on cash, we have so far eaten three chickens (constituting a debt of Shs105,000). #LockdownNyabula.

Mr Bisiika is the executive
editor of the East African Flagpost.