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Archive for April, 2011

Security operatives cornered Ugandan opposition leader in his car and  smashed the windows in and did their best to tear gas the occupants out this afternoon. The star of this bizzarre show was a guy in a flowery shirt and dark glasses. clearly enjoying the media attention he went about his ‘dirty’ business with gusto.  It was all very strangely familiar right down to shoing Kizza besigye in to the back of the poloce pick up truck, under the seats, no less!

All Ugandans have to do is rewind 35 years and we will realise that the bogeyman is well and truly back. He may have a different name, but the same lousy sense of style and the dark glasses and the brutality is all the same. He has been around quite awhile, but true to form we were too afraid to say his name.

We love to quote Winston Churchill: describing Uganda as the pearl of Africa. Here’s another quote: ‘Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it’.

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On the 13th of April 2011, Opposition leader dr. Kizza besigye left home on foot to walk 16km to his office. He could have driven there, but wanting to protest rising fuel prices he chose to foot it to work.  However he did not realise that in Uganda today you are not allowed to walk to work if you already own a car. Police, in their blue military style fatigues, only in Uganda, surrounded him gave him three options

  1. Return home
  2. Call his driver and complete his journey in the comfort of his car
  3. Accept a lift from the police

He chose neither and was promptly dispatched in the back of a double cabin pickup. The irony totally lost on the powers that be.

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Being a third generation Old Budonian gives me pride that very few other things can match. For non Ugandans I can only equate King’s College Budo to a combination of Alliance High School and St. Mary’s School, Nairobi. History, tradition, pride and an unmatched old boys/girls network.

I came across this picture while surfing the web a while back and it depicts one of the school buildings that was constructed in 19926. Its got a huge arch across its width and visually provides a gateway from the quads of lawns behind it to the vast playing fields in front of it.Its significance to Budonians runs very deep as it is a symbol of power, order, discipline and boyhood fun.

To the right are the rooms for the sports and chapel prefects and at he back of that was was the deputy head prefect’s digs. To the left was the senior 3A classroom and at the back was the head prefect’s digs. And above the arch was the infamous senior 4C classroom.

Right in front of the building runs the Bursary Road, which every red blooded Budonian of the male gender knew very well not to cross after 7pm. Reason being that it was the dividing line between the sexes after regular school hours. Crossing the road to get to the girl’s dorms across the sports fields after the said time was unheard of, as such an act was considered in the same league as murder and treason………..presumably punishable by death.

But that did not stop the foolhardy amongst us from trying. Skirting along the edges of the road, testing the resolve and patience of the four prefects whose rooms were conveniently located at the border of the garden of eden. Every day a list of people caught ‘loitering’ along the Bursary Road was read out out for all sorts of punishments. The less brave amongst us took the easier route: standing at the windows of the 4C classroom after evening preps, we would cheer, jeer and generally make a total nuisance of ourselves as the ‘brave’ girls walked back , across the road, to their dorms from the classrooms.

The Berlin wall could not have been more secure.

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