Life…

What is Life?
An hour-glass on the steady run,
A mist retreating from the morning sun,
A dew drop on the fall.

A minute’s pause, a moment’s thought.
A Lover’s troth, a kiss that never lasts.
An eye blink, the last breath.

A bubble on the stream,
Petrichor in the air,
Surreptitious gazes, desire.

The puffing gale of morn,
A cobweb, hiding disappointment’s thorn,
A mother’s breast.
A busy, bustling, still-repeated dream.

What is Life?

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I will

“I have a headache so I won’t write.” I have thoughts. That yearn to be let out. And they’ll be.
I have a lot that I’m sleeping on. The sleep is sweet. I want more.
I’l write something so nice. It’ll have tongues wagging. When I wake up, I will.
Oh here comes the rain. Soon as it dries up i’ll write. I love the rain. I love the sleep. I live for sleep in the rain.
I’ll wake up. I’ll write. My friend, she wants a Billet-doux written. She longs for it. I’ll write. She’ll smile.
I bought her a flower. It dried up. she smiled. She didn’t sneeze this time. It was dry. She loved it, but she didn’t say.
The chocolate. It didn’t melt. It was melted. Words were written. In it. “Write me something, anything.” What was left. It was smudged. On her favorite seat. My face.
“I can’t say i love you. I can say I love ink, this ink, you and paper.”
I’ll write. Anything. It’ll be short, it’ll be from the heart and it’ll be about us.
When i wake up. I’ll write.


From this dream. When I wake up… to be continued.

Once Upon a Time…

Once upon a time, there was a man; who fell in love with a woman. They got married had children, and lived happily ever after…


As kids, stories were such a five-finger exercise. So smooth, so penny-plain and so subtle. Then growing up happened. Curiosity set in, many a cat died, the cats with in us. Schrodinger’s too.

Adam and Eve eating an apple metamorphosed into something bigger. You start to wonder how thighs come into a story so pristine.

Little wonders about what Jack and Jill where doing up that hill, and how the well could be up, not down the valley.


Stories ceased to make sense, as we drowned in novels, belly-flopped deep into meaningless books, got lost in Mangas. With each text read, a realm of Sunyata. A rabbit hole with a trap for light at the end of the tunnel.

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But still there remained that crave to read. To feed our little minds with something, anything. Twitter and Facebook happened, blogs too. And Snapchat and Instagram were invited to the party. And it was lit. As it was intimated that, as the Social Media platforms are food for the eyes, books and in particular short story books were food for the mind and the soul. So ensnaring…

One thing that’s eerie about stories, and mostly short stories is how quickly they can shape your surroundings, life and emotions.  Maybe you start reading one over your lunch break and, if it’s the right one, before that peanut butter cup you bought for dessert even has a chance to finish its melting shape-shift into some kind of sugary cement, the whole world has been destroyed around you and then rebuilt, and then remodeled into something outlandish, Museveni has retired and Nelson Mandela resurrected. Nothing is quite the same again. Ohhh, until it ebbs away.

This happens whether you like it or not. The best short stories haunt you for days and weeks. They take you to a dimension you can feel but can neither live in nor touch. Great stories exercise this violent beauty on you in a variety of ways: some by making an absurd world familiar (or vice versa), some with a slow burn, some with a voice that colonizes your thoughts. Some do it quietly, almost without you even noticing, and some do it with high wire acts of imagination or intellect that make you into a breathless witness.

The trick, then, is finding the right story, one that is capable of such a thing. This is no easy task. Tastes differ, of course, and it can be confusing to spot the small boat of a great story on the wide sea of fiction. What any reader can offer you in terms of guidance is actually the same thing that any good writer can offer you with the story itself: a way of saying, This is what moved me and made me feel strange and alive in some way; here, why don’t you give it a try?


I could say it’s the same with Music. Find a song, and it takes your soul through every valley with all sorts of shadows, of course you fear nothing then for the beat is your comfort.


 

[#UGBlogWeek Day 2]: Life is the biggest School.

Imagine if you’d never enrolled into School? Where would you be now? What would you be?
Do you ever look back, and deliberate; hear you think, ‘School made me no better!
No better than you come. Than you are.

Yes, they woke us up at 5am in the morning to prepare for School, yes we peed in our pants and on the beds at Siesta time. We were young.
Alright, homework exhausted us so much. Only the dog would be happy with our homework. For reasons it never told me.
I know we saw neither sunrise, for it’d find us at school; nor sunset, for we’d be fast asleep after a smacking from the Mum or the maid to sleep after school.
I know we never ate breakfast properly for we had to rush to beat traffic jam. I know we never beat the traffic jam either way even. It wasn’t fair.

But I also know School helped us learn quickly, grasp every life hack, make friends, enhance our vocabulary. It helped us learn how to relate, socialise and most importantly how to play.
Up and down, on the See-Saw we played, round and round the Hoopla kissed our hips, we swung back and forth on that swing like Tarzan.
And then the bouncing castles, Lego, ballet and mostly the Tyre. Many a boy enjoyed that Moto GP like one-wheeler with sticks as handles and cow dung as grease, as fuel, as oil. You wouldn’t want to hit a pothole lest you swallow shit.

Imagine you hadn’t gone to School, not like home tutored but never stepped into school, never to be taught a thing. Who would you be? What would you be? I can’t imagine that.

I know School came with Kiboko (canes) as we grew up, with teachers drowning their sorrows on our sorry buttocks. It wasn’t fair, we didn’t deserve that smacking. Did we? I mean they could have talked to us nicely and we’d have hid their call.
That’s the biggest lie we told ourselves and continue to. Spare the rod and spoil the child.
And you know some of us came in all types, Naughty, Mild Naughty, Super Naughty and Possessed Naughty.
For us the latter, they had to exorcise those demons at whatever cost. They occasionally told me not to take it personal, they were not giving me a beating at that; but the devil inside.
And school had the most complicated, rather dedicated human beings; for that, spanking little children.

Amid the canes, the numerous books to read, the growing up, sibling fights and the hate towards the opposite sex.
School wasn’t bad. It was fun, well except when made to sit between two girls as a boy or the other way round; it was fun regardless.
We are a product of nature and nurture and the years before the moment we join Secondary School, determine the School you go to.
Generalisations are never wrong, people with the same traits tend to cocoon together. See even birds of the same feather flock together.

Now kids with the same number of canes consumed in elementary school, find themselves in the same school. You passed or you didn’t. You were caned or you weren’t. There is always a correlation there somewhere. So be happy you were caned straight into Gayaza, Ntare, Smack and all the traditional schools and that childhood friend found herself caressed into Hillside, Taibah, the Kitendes and International Schools out there. Traditional schools always enrolled those with the most cane medals. Again, generalizations.

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School becomes an open book. The book becomes life. And you start learning. And learn you do.
Life begins taking shape and your body too, the school fuses its values, culture into you. And you fuse the rest into you. Curiosity, adventure fueled by a transforming body and developing emotions lead you to a path. Hormones open up multiple paths.
You write your first love letter, you get your first kiss perhaps. Numerous heartbreaks and multiple hard-ons.
You begin making discoveries, you’re like the Pilgrim Fathers at this point. Your dick can spit, your clit can swell, and you get your first goose bumps, the goose bumps that come with hardened nipples and strange sensations, you’ve growing.

You begin metamorphosing and your school is the hammer that shapes your sword.
Depending on what school, you become something, head of this club; president of the other. Interact Club, Rotaract Club, Scouts and Guides and all.
You become something, some pick and choose who to be, what to identify as at this stage. You feel like the Alchemist, you get your nature mix with your nurture shake hard and find out the PH value.
You start liking girls, much as you are a girl too. And more girls in your school love girls too. Your school gets an Identity, as the Girl on Girl School.
Your school isn’t making you any better, and you aren’t making your school any better. Or any worse at that. You are just a product of circumstances.

You are who you are, more like who you want to be and what you have become. But it’s who you are, who you’ve discovered yourself to be. And your school has aided you in a way or the other. The exposure you’ve got isn’t the same as that others have got.
The first principles of Adult life are instilled and cemented in High School, College. You put meaning to who you are. You start learning what you are.
Are you a boy smooth with girls? A girl who loves the company of boys? Are you a loner? Introvert, extrovert? This, that?

Vacation comes in time to deny you some things and to increase your thirst for the very things and more.
Vacation balances the Demand and Supply curve. Vacation points you to one place, adulthood.

University. Nothing much goes on here in terms of learning, it’s the dormant stage in terms of Life as the biggest school that’s ever been.
You’re either too broke to chase what you want, or too busy to chase what you want.
You might party here, have fun there, and get born gain, but little changes about you. You learn nothing. It’s the John Snow stage of life.
You are already in the baby stages of Adulthood and Adults never learn. They live more and learn less.
School is as good as done soon as you graduate. On that day you look back cry for some as you give that speech, cut cake and possibly say; School made me no better, and this, my first degree is the end of School.

Life starts after you wear that gown. Work, Bills, Expectations, Aging and Deaths. Life.

UgBloc

[#UGBlogWeek Day 1]: It all starts in Kindergarten…

The theme for these 7 days of blogging as a Ugandan Community, is/will be ‘Schools made us no better‘. We shall embark on this journey of What did we Learn? What did we enjoy? Sit tight, belt up and buy a helmet too.


Three years, pronounced as phi-ri, si-ri or phu-ree depending on where you were born, how you were raised or if your maid could construct an English sentence.

Three years, that’s exactly one year after you’ve left that succulent breast. When you’ve stopped wetting your pants, have started seeing the potty as that for babies.

Probably your Parents have birthed one more youngling and you love it, it’s so young and cute, so adorable. Or you don’t you pinch it.

 

Three years is when you start waking up at 5:30am, eyes closed. Shower, eyes closed. Feed, eyes closed. Dressed, eyes closed and tossed into the back of the car. Guess what, still eyes closed.

You wake up at the gate of your School Office as Pa or Ma continues to Work Office or back to Home Office.

Three years is when you start waking up at 6:00am, eyes closed. You bathe cold water, eyes wide open. Or sometimes when Ma remembered to keep hot water in the flask, that’s if you have; a bit warm water is what you bathe, eyes closed.

Soon your eyes are very much wide open, you have to sit and feed as your Ma prepares your siblings too.

Also the noise your siblings are making, can’t spare you.

You begin the walk to school, hands help by your big sister; adoringly running behind her to keep up with the pace, or occasionally carried like the baby you are.

Ma sees you off till you close that dangerous Death Valley, those dark bushes. Sweater or no sweater, whatever. The good parents can’t afford, but love you.

And your day, your life as a School Children starts. Welcome to School Jail.

 

For me it was around 22 years ago, in a nursery school called Kindergarten. It had a name but I forgot its name. I’ll check my report cards. And I still have all my report cards, with me in a folder at my place in the bedroom.

I don’t remember much but I know I had shoes, and a new red sweater and a kabooni, a small container. I can’t tell whether my siblings had what I had though. But from stories, I’ve grown up to hear, they walked on foot sometimes. Not because they didn’t possess shoes, but because Sunday Best, also because most of the other kids didn’t own a pair.

We weren’t the Cool Kids, but we had caring parents.

 

I was young, adorable, naughty, sweet and playful. None has changed really, apart from age perhaps.

I had a friend called Marvin, he was my good good friend, but sometimes he didn’t share his bicycle. But his Mum loved me and that was good enough to make us friends, brothers at that.

Marvin, the Marvin Rukanga was in Middle Class as he was slightly older and bigger than me. I was in Baby Class. At break time, I always went to check on him. And they say i was bright, so the middle class teacher who loved me like, well like love love love was like I could study with Middle kids, and I did.

 

One morning as I was migrating from Baby to Middle Class, a girl; whose name or form i can’t remember stopped me, blocked my path and later the door to class. See she was big, bigger than all the girls her age.

I might forget her name, but I will never forget her bloody nose. Little me punched big girl in the face and big girl saw stars and a little red. She nose-bled. She cried, I thought rather had a feeling that big girls didn’t cry unless their hearts were breaking. And her heart hadn’t been punched, just her nose; I even doubt she had a heart.

 

The whole school, Baby Middle Top was paralyzed, news reached the staffroom; since it was break-time and all staff was having tea with Hotloaf buns as we ate whatever we had packed in our little containers.

An Assembly was called, the whole school assembled right there and little me and the crying girl in front, she was sobbing like she’d lost her purse with her Campus tuition and salon money in it.

I almost felt pity for her, almost walked to her to rub the little tears from her eyes, only that I had earlier gifted my ka small handkerchief to another girl who’d puked all her break.

 

A small argument broke out, my Baby Class teacher, the Middle Class teacher were on the Opposers side, the Headmistress on the proposers side.

Motion: Amanya beat this Girl.

My teachers thought I was Angel reincarnated, my Headmistress thought I was Dracula Reloaded.

And I had no Amicus Curiae, so Ma’am Headmistress with her closing statement, “If he didn’t beat her, who did, did the nose punch itself, or did we admit ghosts?”

 

The Sentence wasn’t passed, but the verdict was clear. And I felt the sentence drip down my pants, warm at first and very cold later. It was full of shame too, and a beating heart. Madam Headmistress had given me the slap of my life, and everyone was laughing at me like the sucker I was. I could swear that Ma’am Headmistress had overnight turned Slapmistress.

 

The guilt, the shame, the pity and the wetness, the betray and the lost trust. And that wet patch.

That was my higlight of my Nursery School Experience. And since then, I’ve never laid a finger, rather a hand on a girl. The finger I’ve laid ofcourse, but that’s a story for another time.

That’s how I became a Women’s Rights Activist bordering on Feminist.


School made me no better in becoming better, but I sure made School better for my friends.

UgBloc

Loose Talk.

What pulse drives you? Is it ambition, is it fear? Is it desire? What is it? Is it love?
Something has to be fuelling your fire, or else your flame will burn out.
And please don’t tell me your life runs on solar. Just don’t.

For you I know, clearly know; it is love, I can see it on your lips, I can see it in your eyes.
That glow on your skin tells one thing, you are neck deep in that shit that is love.
It must stink, doesn’t it? Oh, you can’t smell that, can you? Love numbs all senses remember.

I’ve been stalking you for eons now, and guess what;
You’re weird, he’s weird too.
You’re an idiot, he is too.
Okay, you’re real and so is he.
Don’t get me wrong. You two are special.

They say, to be in love is to be anchored in the safest anchorage and I can see you’ve really landed bulungi.
I can see the intensity of your feelings, your emotion of being, that passion, that self-surrender. They’ll Mollis you!
The love you’ve got isn’t Romeo and Juliet, isn’t Abelard and Heloise either; it certainly isn’t the imagination of countless poets, it’s Kampala love, it’s real love. Street Love.

Tell me you don’t keep his undershirts on.
I hear you sleep in his large T-shirts.
I’ve seen you kiss on the sidewalks from work.
You kiss more than you hug. To think you used to fist bump.
He now smells like your favourite perfume and you, his.

Late night calls. Frequent calls. A distended call log.
Imagine one chat, his chat is always above the ever vibrant Whatsapp group chats.
One word sentences for others, paragraphs and essays for that one chat.

I can smell love even in the filthiest of sewers.
And what you guys have is love love, it’s affection love, might even be sex love.

They say, only sex love can create the homogeneity, equality and reciprocity between two persons and drown egoism.
I can see the way you relate.
You girl, you must have seen each other already, unravelled things hitherto hidden in laces and all.
You must have eaten each other already, yes.

Remember the bruises, the other time, now I know they were bite marks.
What! So who is Dracula now?
Or have you been in a WWE fight ish with him, 12 rounds; no knockout.
I know, if there’s a drop of love in sex, 12 rounds isn’t a hard ask.
You know with love sex, it is said over and over again; means insatiable participation in the existence of the loved.
12 not out? Wow. You guys are great. Deserve a medal

By the way, Love is blind for those in the realm of love.
Had you noticed that you two were holding hands for more than 10 minutes instead of downing your beers?
Aha. Anyway, I’m happy for you. Nice hair by the way, where did you do it from? I want.

A girl talking to a girl, about a boy who is in love with a girl.

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Gregor Cresnor

Dumbballs.

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Has a man approached you, opened his mouth and you’re like WTF? Well it can’t get any more dramatic than;

I recognise you.
Do you pray from Watoto North West?
Have you been to Cafe Javas Kampala Boulevhahad?
Did you audition for Big Brother Africa?
Could it be have been the last Blankets and Wine?
Did you intern with the Parliament?

I have seen you somewhere.
It can’t be Legends, is it?
Do you pray from All Saints on Sundays?
Are you the NTV lady?
The Ascot races, weren’t you in the adjacent tent?
I knew it, the MTN Marathon it is.

I recognise you.
I sat behind you in this High School class.
We are in the same Whatsapp group.
I play ball with your brothers.
We were on the same plane to Qatar.
The WestCoast Gym, I work out from there too.

I’ve met you somewhere.
Oh yes, it’s Iguana.
Is it you I met via Ekisaakate in Bristol?
Wow, I was at your christening, you’ve grown!
Monot Bar, must have been there.

I think I know you.
I don’t know from where.
I just have that feeling.
Nice to bump into you again.
I’m Amanya. You?

Being a man is treading the path to dumbville. Approaching a girl or starting up a conversation is your ticket.
Sometimes you need a pick up line, not a stanza, just a line. Sometimes you need God’s grace.
Some people are always genuine. Other people are sometimes genuine, other times not.
It’s dumb whichever way you look at it. Only that passion numbs dumb.

The Weird I Love

Daylight to seek each other out
Daylight to brew a bond
It’s been long coming
Breaking little twigs on its way
Like this, it is as was meant
On the road so steep
Far across the city, alone
We had a promise made
Pecks, smiles, hugs and hands off
Both under a visible spell
We had a heart and soul pull
To know what to do
To say what you mean to say
The tongue is a razor blade

To shed a tear for mixed emotions, to feel all.
Wouldn’t want to stop, would you? No

I’m in it with you
I’m in you with it
It makes perfect sense
A moment to push and scream
And then relief, sigh
To a soundtrack of perfect tunes
Roses are red and some are black
Blueberries are not
Berry buttons and tongue
Hunting you, hunting me
Your beauty spots
Are like shooting stars
We had a promise made
To shoot cupids darts and axes
An axe to grind. Legs astride
We did. We were in love

To hold so tight, skin to skin, soul to soul, to feel it all.
Wouldn’t want to stop, would you? Oh.

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As I sink into the open sea
We feel the earth. We feel the time
Is it raining outside?
Is the sky grey?
There’s a numbness in my soul
The mind is a lazy place
On the hem of your soul
Is a red carnation
Eat me. Like a cannibal
Fill the gap between you and I
We ignite a spark
We set the fire
We hear the hums
We hum what we hear.
Breathe in, breathe out
It’s life. Don’t stop.
The words weigh heavy on the heart
Tears flow down the cheeks
Just like a blade,the joy went in deep
And it is tearing up inside you.

To catch a smile on your face.To feel alive, loved.
Would cherish that, forever, Wouldn’t you? Yaaaasss.

#UGBlogWeek: Day III. Freedom of Expression.

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Day 3 of the Freedom of Expression theme week. Well, my second post but more will be flowing in on a single day.
The last from the government viewpoint.

“Rights and Freedoms are inherent and not granted by the State”. By respecting and promoting the freedoms, the State is merely fulfilling its constitutional obligation and not doing anyone a favor.
The State shouldn’t hold citizens hostage with claims it “brought peace”, “brought back rights”. That is, if the State respects its citizenry.

Is Freedom an absolute concept? Or can it be relative and subjective?
Is it an all or nothing arrangement? You’re either free or you’re not, is it?

Freedom is not absolute. It is a relative and subjective concept. Freedom cannot be measured, the degree to which a person is or is not free can only be determined through comparison and that comparison is completely subjective.

Freedom is also a diverse concept. It can be applied to personal, social, political, economic, academic, and religious spheres. A violation in one or more areas does not negate freedoms in the others. Nor does freedom in some spheres excuse violations in others. We can’t look at freedom as black or white, whole or nothing concept.

Does that mean infringements won’t occur at the hands of the very government erected to protect our liberties? Of course not.

Sadly the country I live in, the continent I live in and to an extent the world we live in infringes alot on freedoms.
And my country Uganda has mastered the art of infringing on freedoms and getting away with it scot free.

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Bills have been passed, Acts signed. And the rights of a free man eroded.
Freedom of Expression has suffered the most with a great deal, if not all of the recent Acts of Law curtailing expression in general and dissent in particular

•The Anti-Terrorism Act (2002).
•The Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (2010).
•Uganda Communications Act 2012
•The Public Order Management Act, 2013
All these Acts have limitations on nearly all the Freedoms a Ugandan is meant to enjoy. And heavily infringe on Human Rights.

And incidents of mass abuse of rights have occurred in the light of day, most with impunity.

• In October 2014, Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) radio journalist Ronald Ssembuusi was convicted of criminal defamation over a 2011 story implying a connection between a former Kalangala district chairman and the theft of solar panels that the African Development Bank had donated. Ssembuusi was sentenced to pay a fine of 1 million shillings ($375) within a month, or serve one year in prison.

• Broadcast media regulations issued in March 2014 required all outlets to provide one free hour of prime air time per week to government officials so they could promote government policies and programs; however, the regulations have not been enforced.
Independent journalists and media outlets are often critical of the government, but in recent years they have faced substantial, escalating government restrictions and intimidation, encouraging self-censorship.
Journalists often face harassment or physical attacks by police or ordinary citizens while covering the news. And some are banned from covering certain events.

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Echaluphotography 

• The restrictions on internet access, and online media. Social Media has been shut down, not once but twice in 2016. During the 2016 contested Elections, Social Media and Mobile Money Services were shutdown, effecting an order from the UCC citing security reasons.
It was once more shutdown in May 2016, on the day of the swearing in of the President. A trend that is sweeping through other despotic states in sub saharan Africa.

• The government has reportedly sought to increase surveillance of internet and mobile-phone communications in the context of antiterrorism campaigns, as permitted under the 2002 Antiterrorism Act and the 2010 Regulation of Interception of Communications Act. Under the latter, all mobile-phone users were required to register their SIM cards with the government by August 2013, after which unregistered cards were deactivated.
And earlier the revelations of the Operation Fungua Macho, an operation by security and spy agencies to spy on the prominent opposition figures and the talk of a plan to procure a pornography detection system left the country in disbelief.

• In March, police in eastern Uganda blocked two demonstrations organized by the opposition pushing for electoral reforms. Police claimed the politicians had not sought permission from the inspector general of police, as required under the new law. Eventually the rallies were permitted, but those seeking to protest against the current electoral laws often face unclear procedures and prolonged delays when seeking permissions.

• Former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi a presidential aspirant at the time was stopped from going to Mbale to consult his supporters and detained at Kiira Road Police Station till the sunset when he was released without caution or charge.

• In June 2015, two men were arrested for smuggling two pigs into parliament as a protest against high youth unemployment rates. The two were charged with criminal trespass and conspiracy.

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Echaluphotography

• In August 2015, police arrested 20 members of the Uganda National Students Association for holding a protest at the Ministry of Education, which police deemed to be an unlawful assembly. The same month, police arrested seven young men in Kampala who were peacefully demonstrating against unemployment.

• The closure of two newspapers and a radio station in 2013 and new ad-hoc policies introduced by the minister of information negatively impacted media’s operating environment. Station managers and journalists report fear of reprisals if programs are highly critical of the government.

• In March 2015, a regional police commander stormed the studios of Guide Radio in Kasese, western Uganda, and stopped a program in which the leader of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change was participating. The police commander claimed to be under orders to stop the program because it was “inciting violence.”

• And there has been frequent break ins into offices of Civil Society Organizations, NGOs and Law firms, with fingers pointing to organised raids from government security operatives.

• Nalufenya, Kasangati, Moroto and Kiira Road Police stations have become infamous for having a negative correlation with liberty.

These and many infringements have been carried on against the Freedoms that the government swears to protect and to uphold. This begs the question.

Is there Freedom of Expression in Uganda?

But mweine Kaguta though.

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“UGANDANS believe that M7 favours WESTERNERS, WESTERNERS believe he favours BANYANKORE, BANYANKORE believe he favours BAHIMA, BAHIMA believe he favours his CLAN, his CLAN believes he favours his FAMILY, and I bet his FAMILY believes he favours MUHOOZI”. 

MUHOOZI must believe M7 favours HIMSELF.
All because M7 believes he is UGANDA.