Ministry of Trade PS Geraldine Ssali in Anti-Corruption court dock Ministry of Trade PS Geraldine Ssali in dock at the Anti-Corruption

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Our roads are a plague from heaven

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So this happened: Roadworks and rain clashed in the city with the result that everybody was stuck, muddy, and angry and they all kept asking, “Why? Why must it always be like this?”

Then it got hot again and the mud turned to dust. And everybody kept asking, “Why? Why must it always be like this?”

This was not the only question. Here are a few more follow-up questions to roadworks. 

1. These roadworks take place in areas you walk through. The result is that men’s shoes are going to be filthy. But which is better, mud or dust? Cos those are your only two choices. 

2. How come women who came from Kira, Najjera, Bugolobi and other affected areas reach office with their pedicures clean, while men reach office with speckles of filth all over their shoes and up their trousers? 

Well, there are those cunning men who keep an extra pair of clean shoes at the office and change when they get into the marble floor or carpet inside, so they spend their day in vans with nice white soles, just like their colleagues who came driving X-Trails, but are you going to tell me that our female colleagues who boda to work keep extra nails in the office pantry? 

3.Why is it that when they say,  “Let us work on this road,” it seems like what they mean is, “Let's dig it up and then go home and stay there for a month or two, after which we will consider coming back to do some more damage?” 

4. Why is it that whenever a road is dug up, that is when the weather says, “Hmmm, I have been gentle and cool for too long. I need to hit these Ugandan people with a heat wave,” with the result that the dug-up road rises further upwards. There's now so much dust that you will think half the road is floating above surface.

You find some of the road on your balcony every evening. You have as much brown soil on the roof of your car as you do on the wheels. You have to go through so much dust when you walk outdoors that you end up virtually wearing a significant amount of loose dug-up road. What is going on?

5. And does the same weather, after seeing that we are now covered in dust, decide, “Let me play with these Ugandans a bit more. Unleash rain,” with the result that the loose murram is now so sloppy and muddy that cars and bodas are stuck in it, immobile, but the slushy mud and water keeps slowly rolling on? The vehicles are stuck, but the road is moving. How come?

6. Haven’t we suffered enough? Evolution is supposed to be a thing. Species are supposed to evolve physically to adapt to challenges of their environment. Why haven't Ugandans evolved wings yet? 

7. But really, what did we do to deserve this? Because it can't merely be ineptitude. This feels like karma. But no. karma is when you cheat on your girlfriend and then your next girlfriend cheats on you. This is wrath. This is a plague from the heavens. 

Ugandans have wicked ways and we refuse to repent so we have been smitten by a plague. When shall ye turneth from thine wicked ways, People of Uganda?

8. What are these roads made out of anyway? Why are they so fragile? Why do they need to be redug so often? What are they made of? Flour and tissue paper?

9. And what do you mean road works? No it doesn't. A road that works is one people can drive through. We can't drive through this. Why not call it road-not-workings?

10.How many times do we have to say this before someone takes it seriously? Donkeys, people! All your problems solved right there.