17 Feb

I live in Uganda.
We vote tomorrow
I’m not voting.
I’m not interested in writing as to why
But I have been reading a book entitled ‘The teeth may smile but the heart does not forget’ By Andrew Rice
I’m trying to understand several things here..Uganda is not a country – we are a collection of tribes – the Baganda being the largest ethnic group/most vociferous tribe end up having the entire country named after them? Why then do I call myself a Ugandan? To identify with what or whom exactly?
West Nile/ Northerners for example were historically targeted for recruitment into the British Army as Southerners were deemed ‘above’ it and they trace their heritage mostly back to Sudan until a German Jew called Eduard Schnitzer known commonly as Emin Pasha created an army to extend his influence over the natives of the interior.
My Parents are from Soroti and Mbarara – so does that make me Ankole or Itesot?
My Father is Ankole – In history there is no such thing as Banyankole!!! at least not before Lugard arrived -this anthropological notion of tribe is something the British applied inflexibly everywhere in Africa mostly for no other reason than to further their selfish political ambition to divide and conquer! And then you prostrate yourself to a king and pledge undying loyalty!!

Ibanda – my father’s village. They were called the Bairu referred to as the workers – the Bahima according to the British were more superior! dig that – insult upon insult!
I’m expected to be Ankole- I like my mother’s side of the family a whole lot better.
I was born in Arusha- so can’t I choose to be Tanzanian?

So when you ask me if I should vote why don’t you make it simple and run this country as you would a company? exact taxes and in turn fix the roads and provide medicine in hospitals, ensure infrastructure can facilitate good business and encourage foreign investors by erecting some damn street lighting – Don’t insult my intelligence by asking me to be Patriotic – where was your Patriotism when thousands of children died because you decided gold door knobs and a 5th Range rover for your 6th mistress were more important?

F you.



  1. Kci February 17, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Wow! I like you in this mode! Learned quite a bit too – will look into all that history! Philosophical question about the company theory – who’s qualified to decide who gets to run the company? It’s like democracy – clearly everyone has a right to an opinion and vote but we all know that it would be sorta discriminatory and insulting to tell the idiots that they can’t vote. Get my point?

  2. Fatboy February 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Word up! Word up! Word up!

    This is the shit Seanice… your eyes are now OPENED!!!

    Awesome post. Keep them coming!!!

    I really think patriotism is bullshit. I mean, Uganda was MANUFACTURED by the British. I am a citizen of this universe and this universe is my country. End of story.

    • margaret February 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      Fatboy you may be right, but the universe does not dictate the rate of PAYE or VAT you pay. it is the state. so you need to vote as the state is ruled by those you vote.

  3. AnitaK February 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Am rolling on the ground laughing and laughing..
    This just killed my patriotic feeling..Today I actually woke up feeling patriotic out of the other 364 days when I feel embarrassed sometimes to think I come from the same Nation that has people that openly bribe others to vote them in the name of “monitoring projects”….I love Uganda – I really do but (huge sigh) she’s like a young woman that has been violated and left out in the dark to the hands of other violators (hate to think of her this way, but do you blame me???)..
    I am free to air out what I think here – right??
    Thanks Sean, this is cool…I feel better today!!!

  4. Seanice February 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    @ Kci I feel you! @ Anita K.. you made me smile 🙂 @ Margaret imagine I am having this same conversation on face book – this is what i think..
    your sentiments are very noble but i disagree
    ! yes it’s not right to sit back and complain but the reality is the reality – for example the wealthy get more of a vote and a say in my country than i do- that’s a fact so one man one …vote is a real lie..i encourage you to read a book called Democracy Kills: What’s So Good About the Vote? by Humphrey Hawksley the breadth of his experience… gives him a unique vantage-point from which to compare different systems: both as seen by the rulers, and maybe more importantly the ruled.” we need to stop romanticising the vote and apply our efforts where they will be better put to ACTUALLY make a difference- he who makes the money calls the shots! then you can make a better world for our children and their children 🙂

    plus democracy is proven to be a vehicle to continue the disparity between the rich and the poor- we need to pull the wool away from over our eyes! Evidence shows that attempts to democratize the developed world have made internal tensions …much worse…
    even barack says “Each country will pursue a path rooted in the culture of its people, and – in the past – America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy.”

    ignoring the last line- are African’s pursuing a democracy rooted in our culture?!!!!

  5. Quietstorm February 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    My Country and citizenship is the Universe and my patriotism is to to good.

  6. JKS February 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    I feel the same way about not voting. We have no good options for candidates. Its like asking me to choose between eating my shoes and sandals. My show of “patriotism” (whatever that is) is to make no choice. We deserve better. I bet if the voter turn out was as low as 30%, our politicians would get a better message sent to them than “pakalast” or “change”…

  7. Mudamuli February 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    I don’t feel Ugandan at all. Never have. Was trying to until a few weeks ago when during a discussion on facebook about Buganda, someone told me to return to my late father’s home since I wasn’t a Muganda.

    My Mom is a Muganda but I cannot call myself one. I am my father’s heiress but I don’t even know how to speak his language. I fear settling in his village coz I feel like a stranger there. I am thinking of marrying a foreigner and taking up a new citizenship or just run away and never come back. I am not ready to settle in Uganda at all. At times I feel more Kenyan and more East African than Ugandan coz I spent my childhood there.

  8. Fatboy February 18, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    Interesting discussions!

    Countries in the west have developed inspite of democracy, not because of it. Consider… most of them were ruled by kings and emperors until very recently. Look at the countries of the middle east, look at south Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.. it is not democracy that developed those countries. They were developed long before democracy entered the picture. If anything, democracy is messing things up. I mean, the so-called ‘repressive’ China is leading the world in wealth and economic development, having brought over 50% of its population out of poverty in a very short time. Meanwhile the track-record of democracy is just lovely isn’t it? Exhibit A – Sub-Saharan Africa since the mid-1990s.

    I understand why people get alarmed when people raise questions about democracy. This is because it is usually treated as axiomatic that electoral democracy is for the ‘greater good’ and leads to development. Not much discussion has gone into trying to establish to what degree this is true – it is merely preached as a dogma not to be questioned. Sorry to say this, but there just aren’t significant case studies that demonstrate the degree to which democracy has turned an underdeveloped country into a developed one.

    All the examples of wealthy democracies I can think of today (i.e. those in Europe and even the USA, plus those in the Far East) attained their wealth and economic capacity without democracy. Democracy is a recent add-on. Europe was ruled by kings till recently. The USA, up until 1865 relied on SLAVERY, for example. Women couldn’t vote till the 1920’s, and blacks till sometime in the middle of the 20th century. Hardly what you’d call democracy, right? And yet the wealth of America was practically built on slavery. Then think of all the dictatorial regimes the US has propped up for the last 60 years… I mean, they couldn’t even make their mind up about what to do with Mubarack. They will then complain if the Muslim Brotherhood are DEMOCRATICALLY elected. What double standards! Democracy is a joke.

    I’m not saying I have a better idea for governing a society, all I’m saying is that people should stop kidding themselves that it is any kind of virtuous or novel idea. The people running the world through ‘democracy’ are the people with the guns, or the money. It is they who ultimately have the final say.. and NOT the voters (of any country).

  9. Seanice February 24, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    very eye opening right there Fatboy!

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