Monday, September 17, 2018

THESE UNCOUTH, UNREGULATED TAXI FOLKS


Transport by public means in Uganda is getting dirtier and uglier every day.  Apart from wrong elements conniving/hiding in the space of people engaged in this sector, even the true/real employees in the sector themselves have very poor work ethics and are not operating as if they are in for business. They do not respect their clients at all. They do not distinguish between human beings and satchels. They also behave like people with mental malady. This is why they pack twice the number licensed to be aboard their waggons. It is also, why they focus more on the money paid than the well-being of people paying the money.

Boy, have you ever seen this with our taxi drivers? Do they normally talk the truth before taking away your money?  They will pack their colleagues/fellow perjurers in the car just to hoodwink you that they are lacking only one traveller which is –you.  Later, when you board and pay, the brats will start coming out one by one, two by two, three by three, until you will realise that you were the only real traveller aboard. Your time is wasted, but most importantly - your money is gone.   

I think there should come into play a regulation on when to pay the money. The ideal is after the service has been delivered. Reader, don’t you remember days when you paid your hard earned cash to the bus that later got spoilt on the way and you boarded another means at extra cost because they never refund people’s money.

There is also this unnecessary squabble about money and travellers by taxi workers. Have you equally noticed this? I hate it. I wonder if the transport authority in this Country recognises the so called; stage masters, then the brokers, followed by the receipt men, conductors and the drivers. Most times, it is not easy to tell who actually the driver is because all these people also drive. They drive looking for people like wild things and they keep changing until when the taxi is fully packed, then a chapter of chaos commences.

They struggle for the money. I wonder most times why up to about 10 people will want to be paid because travellers have boarded a given taxi. It is as if they create travel plans for individuals from their homes so that they start disagreeing and fighting over pay. It is as if the money paid is just for sharing on the spot and has no use in servicing the car, fuelling and savings for the owner. It is as if people who board are wild-creatures who must be tamed so that they can come and take a route in travel. Do you experience this? Do you like it?  What should our authorities do to change this psychosis?

In my view, our authorities need to seek lessons from European, Asian and American cities where great improvements have been attained in the Public transport sector. These locations have clean, safe, fast and efficient Public transport system. In China, the octopus option makes it quite easy for travellers to manage their transport payment. Here, you do not need to count cash in the hands of someone because it uses electronic smart cards that allows one to pay fares both online and offline.  Otherwise, in their poverty, more Ugandans continue to be exploited by uncouth and unregulated individuals in the transport industry. Our Country needs to do something. See you next week.

Monday, May 16, 2016

LET’S GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE AND SPARE NO BAD LEADER.


“Good leadership is like climbing a builder's ladder. If you balance your feet in the middle of it, then your weight will be uniformly distributed and transferred equally to the two supports and therefore enables you to climb higher and higher.

Should you lean to one side of the ladder while attempting to climb higher, a turning moment will be induced at the side where you have exerted much of your weight, and thus creating an uplift at the lighter side where your weight is less and therefore the ladder gives way together with you - Casualty only, a case with your crumbled opponent!”, Eliseo Oyoo commented on Abim Development Forum last night.

What a precise, concise, crisp, candid and forthright statement! Mr. Oyoo was applauding and guiding Hon. Michael Ayepa who was sworn in to serve second term as legislator for Labwor Constituency in Abim District on Monday 16th May. To me, Oyoo has made the last statement after the cutting of the cake.

Do we have anything to say against this engineer’s graphical communication? Not even the rodents, cockroaches, termites have no speechlessness at this point in time I guess.

Whatever unpleasant future events that may come our way, I want to put it on record that Ethur have never had a bad member of parliament since the 1980s.  From Felix Obura(R.I.P) to Obonyo J’Abwor (R.I.P) to Yafes Otim Omara and to Omwony Ojwok (R.I.P) and to Ayepa. Under these men, we have documented evidence of fundamental achievements for thur development. The rot that we have today majorly emanated from the Local council administration in Abim that obviously were grossly mismanaged because we had a wrong captain from the start of that administrative unit in our land.  

Last weekend while in Kotido, I had a verbal spat with a young man whom I empathised when he said a good leader of Ethur is “the one that makes people laugh and that is full of ‘jazz’ to every location, and has his sharp boys everywhere”. The senseless young man added that “…we need a leader who can put on any cloth, or uniform for any people…” 

I didn’t understand this innocent kid, although in between the lines you could tell that Abim young people were beginning to rely on very wrong individuals for mentorship back home. You could sense that instead of maturity in governance, there probably were leaders who behaved like comedians yet they held responsible positions that required being gentle and cool headed so as to guide the new generation sensibly.

My greatest disappointment and annoyance came when the chap shamelessly said that Yafes Otim Omara while MP did zero to Ethur just like Ayepa and Obonyo J’Abowr. He said that Omwony Ojwok was the only performer so far. Thank God that in 2016 we have changed the face of this madness in our land and now hope for the better.

Aside, I thought all the key men who were our MPs before had done great jobs that needed to be recognised. Felix Obura offered himself at the time when the Ethur very badly needed a unifying leader, given that Ethur were almost unknown. Obonyo was ably our legislator at the foundational moment for the development of legal instruments in our Country. Yafes is on record for fighting for the independence of Ethur at a time when his colleague Owiny Dollo was pushing for thur people to be included under the Acholi administration from Pader. Omwony Ojwok worked for another independence from the Jie through pushing for the district status. Ayepa is currently fighting for; Community health strengthening, people’s land rights, women and child protection through several bottom-top approaches.

Finally I wish to congratulate our newly sworn in MPs; Janet Akech and Micahel Ayepa upon accepting to lead Ethur once again.   I know that after the swearing in, what seemed like a very long journey is now looking very near. It takes coordination with the electorates and sharing in their challenges if you want to lead them well. May God offer you better direction.




Sunday, January 24, 2016

MORULEM BOYS’ PRIMARY SCHOOL, WHERE ARE THE OLD BOYS?

Dear teacher,
We have seen Morulem Boys’ Primary School decorate our mother home district in the national map of Uganda through excellent performances in Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) and in Music Dance and Drama for a number of years now.

We all know that a lot of effort by teachers, pupils and parents contribute to this. We also know that the school actually leaped from grass to grace in recent times. I remember during the 1990s, getting 10 first grades would be a super thing in the same school. Last year, Morulem Boys’ tide up with Child Jesus Primary school in Moroto to top the region in PLE performance. Both schools had 30 children in grade one.

In my view, this good work needs to be hiked or at least sustained so that it becomes an indissoluble culture that our grand, grand and grand children of tomorrow and next may also get it and keep it.
Pupils of Morulem Boys' School during Music Practice          

In the 1990s Kotido Mixed Primary School was atop the region in terms of PLE performance. However, Kotido Mixed failed to uphold their status and today they have dropped from hero to horror. We can’t blame this on teachers or pupils. When you succeed in something, the fruit of your success should take you to another level. The stars of Kotido Mixed needed to look back to the school and contribute to the revival of that lost glory.

In other parts of Uganda, historical schools such as; Ntare school, Kings College Budo, Namilyango college etc. have managed to protract their fair performances partly and largely because of the Old Boys and Girls’ contribution. These former Pupils/students who have succeeded in life after school make unbelievable -valuable annual contributions towards school development programs. We could as well borrow a leaf from these people so that we see a way of sustaining positive developments in our schools.

As an old boy myself, I wish to suggest to fellow old Boys of Morulem Boys’ school one simple thing. Let’s start an annual contribution towards the development of the school.  We could call it, Morulem Boys’ Old Boys’ Development Fund (MOBODUF). The Contributions from every Old Boy who feels the sense of attachment to this great school will start as early as January and ends in November. An annual Old Boys’ Conference in December every year will then decide on what the collected fund should be for.  It could be for an extension of the school Library, dormitories, Classroom blocks, Washrooms, or even a School Van, depending on the collection by end of year.

During the get together, old boys will also have a football match or other games with the School team to demonstrate cohesion and delight for the school. Other important engagements including guiding and counseling of pupils on current world challenges such as the HIV/AIDS problem, harmful practices like abuse of drugs etc would also be extended to children in attendance during this single day in a year.

To make this easy and more practical, we could disaggregate the Old Boys’ membership. We can have COOPERATE members whose annual contribution is a minimum of UGX250, 000(200,000 goes for School Development Fund (SDF) and 50,000 to facilitate the annual sitting (Conference Fund (CF). A second category could be called SUBSCRIBERS, whose minimum annual contribution is UGX150, 000(100,000 for SDF and 50,000 for CF). Then we can have a third and last category called, PROMOTERS (they pay minimum UGX50,000 annually, 10,000 as CF and 40,000 for SDF)

Who will receive and who will keep the money?
To enable a quick and safer start, I suggest that the parish Priest of Morulem Catholic Church be entrusted to collect and issue receipts to those who have cleared. Church is independent and we can surely give it our trust. A priest like Fr. Joseph Ochero could act the treasurer role easily. Other people with proven integrity like Mr. Okullo Oywek Simon Peter could be engaged into this arrangement and so we can be sure of first-rate accountability. Receipts will be given upon payment and a carbon copy kept for verification in December. More ideas can follow from this scratch. I suggest that we start off this in 2016, and to be exemplary, Am proud to say that my contribution is ready in the CORPERATE category.

More suggestions such as having an account for MOBODUF will come later if we can take this idea up. What I know is that some other school Old boys may take up this idea faster after reading this blog and yet my first target is Morulem boys men and women. How does this sound to you teacher? Please give me feedback before end of this month. God Bless You!

HOME: www.owiny.blogspot.ug

Sunday, November 15, 2015

DISPENSE Of God (Multiple real life,short stories interwovened)


ONE.
**** She deliberately tried to take my integrity for granted. God was watching.  ****
Paska Lamone sprung home, to our house in her usual lubricated temperament. She had not seen us for a couple of months. We missed her too. We missed her camaraderie. For long we yearned for her jokes. Those who know Lamone are conscious of those scrumptious-ribs breaking lies she cooks. In my heart, she remains special among liars my eyes saw since childhood.  This attribute aside, our friend Lamone is also that resolute black woman whose spirit to touch the sky one day will never get threatened by her present gale. On this particular day it emerged that Lamone had conceded a goal. As a young goalkeeper, she was clearly disturbed about the arrangement. However, her presentation to Tata’s other parent demonstrated that she was excited and happy to be with it and become a tick to the gunman responsible.

For over 20 months ever since she got into college, Lamone never came home to beat her drums and set us laughing as was before Tata was born.  Fortunate Tata didn’t like Lamone when she came to carry her. She feared and would yell when Lamone tries any touch on Tata’s handsome body. Tata’s ever-sweet smiles never benefited our friend although Lamone felt the itch of carrying and playing with our jolly, incandescent, beloved daughter.

The goal scorer is suspect number one in making Lamone turn her back to great friends of her childhood days, her time in elementary school and her moments during the journey to college. Our friend came streaming and springing like an American soldier. Without worry, I flashed her with a straight warm hug and notified her about her beauty anyway –whatever it is in other people’s perspective. We had a good time during this half day visit although Tata was unwell with flue and fever distracting her playful personality.

Being a casual moment at home with a family friend; we had everything to share; the tea and the tales. We watched a powerful old school movie together. My wife Naume Katau and I and Lamone enjoyed everything for the cool, dusty evening. My only destruction was little Tata’s condition, and because of her bad health she was out of the evening joy. In order to try and make her curve a smile, Katau shortly put a children’s movie which didn’t prick my daughter’s ribs this evening for even a second, - another reason my happiness wasn’t to the top. Like Katau has always said; when Tata smiles, my own smile doubles. For this evening my smiles were visible but not heart-pricking because my only image on earth was unwell.

Reader, Katau’s attributes are exactly as those in my 1999 dream about my wife. At that time, I met a friendly young woman in the street of London where a plane had dropped us suddenly when we escaped the most fatal rebel attack in my home district. The Ugandan president had sent planes to come and do citizen-rescue in our constituency.

The girl I met had numerous true friends. Friends who would stand by her at all moments; bad and good. Friends who would came home when they hear a fight or the usual family brawl had hit us. Friends who would respect people’s values, believes and opinion and would dare listen to all disagreeing sides in order not to pass judgment but achieve reconciliation and convergence in their comrade’s homes.

Yes, my Katau is a woman from that stumpy background. Her modesty, composure, affability, and religion hit me more than her physical beauty when I met her five years ago. She immediately brought my 1999 vision home with her hearty companions; Paska Lamone, Agness Apule, Patience Fatika and a host of other great girl friends she kept since childhood through primary school and college. I feel more protected every time Katau’s friends are home or out with her and or with me.

Lamone’s visit this particular evening would later unexpectedly bring unpleasant muddle to our house. When she was going back home, Lamone wished me and Tata, a good night and Katau walked her outside the fence as is common a practice with African women. Tata’s condition intensified with the absence of her mom and the two women consumed two hours and the darkness made things more difficult for the constantly coughing, sneezing daughter of the writer.

It was impossible to trace why mom stayed long because her mobile telephone was left right back home with us. The only person to consult was Lamone who didn’t answer her calls millions of times before picking and saying “I don’t know where your wife is”. What a shocking answer from a good friend who has just left home and taken Tata’s Mom right with her. 

Last week, an innocent engineer was murdered in the middle of this town and he had left home in the company of his friends. Continuous calls to Lamone’s mobile were either rejected or unanswered. Tata’s impatience was to the climax and she cried like both her parents had abandoned her, or as if she was an orphan. I called and called and called until she answered again and I barked at her unconsciously questioning why she says she is not aware of Katau’s location when they walked together. Lamone answered me by switching her phone off.

It was time to act like a mad man now and act fast. Tata had to join me in the ride on a hired motor-bike.” Let’s go Tata. Let’s go look for mom. Let’s try and find her now however dark and dusty it is. We shall treat the flue later. Let’s go my daughter. Let’s go.”

We got our friend along the road simply roaming home. Our mom was not seen. Our friend decided to run away from us instead of guiding us on mom's whereabouts. By running way, I got even more scared and more mad. Finally, I managed to catch up with her and, simply asked a kind man’s question in the presence of witnesses from all-over the world. I was kind, and controlled in my approach even though my emotions had skyrocketed. One thing that couldn't evaporate off my head was the need to always respect women and children in Africa. Nothing bad really happened. Mom after all was even safe and had simply taken a long route back home. I thought Lamone then merely wanted to take my integrity to the dogs if I could act like a dog at this point in time. Later, the authorities took it up for this night until the next day.

The next day, our good friend demonstrated mellowness, amity and religion by deservingly declaring to the state authorities that the writer did no really scuffle her. State people equally saw the thread of friendship, trust, religion, lenience and compassion that me and Lamone poured when they recalled the problem and thought of taking it forward. I think we were simply tried by the forces of this world this particular week in this semi-arid central town. I think God intervened immediately and all that this shit was headed for were meant to rust off immediately. At least Lamone and I had all the believe that it was done, and would not come out any more anywhere.

However, some good friend of Tata’s mom has nonsensically picked up this common worldly trial. She has carried it on and registered it as a project. The last time I realized that Tata’s only mom is being held accountable by her best friend in heart and on earth; I have planted prayer foundation stones to repulse it. So help me God! I know God will provide an answer that will be documented in the second edition of this book. I know. I know. I know. I know!