I often use Matatu’s or call them taxis, yeah, because I haven’t yet paid up for my own car and also because the stories you’ll get from sitting in a taxi will make you realize that life is not all about you. On a cold July day, I got into a Wandegeya bound taxi from city square and this matatu had been ambushed by university students who were also heading to Wandegeya, MUK to be precise. 6 females 8 males but everyone in the taxi was now silent except the conductor who was still marketing the use of his taxi in a bid to fix one more person into the taxi, everyone in the taxi was either reading a WhatsApp message or tweeting or engrossed in their music or simply looking on like I was. I was in the middle of the back seat and there were these two dudes seated beside me and 3 females in the front, I could sense the urge in them to speak heat up so I plugged in(I have this manner of listening to people’s stories illegally because it makes me feel human and sane.) so I just plug in my earphones to make the onlooker think that I am not listening to whatever they are saying(damn, sometimes I even shake my head to the beat of the story), I am not bad and I don’t judge people, I just listen.
So this bunch was talking about Ugandan Politics, the political idiocy of our presidential candidates and the people they would rather vote into power, all of a sudden everyone started participating in the conversation, including the driver and conductor whose English was scanty but their opinions, legitimate. Since I was listening to music, I saw it best not to engage in the conversation but out of the 16 people in the taxi, only one would vote our current President back into power, 5 would vote Besigye and another 5 would vote JPAM while the other 5 said they wouldn’t vote and these are the reasons they gave for not voting;
Joan (not real name) said she wouldn’t vote because Ugandan politics is very annoying and actually not needed, she went on to say that “we keep living in the hope of change, but this change probably used a snail, so we are constantly lying to ourselves that all will be well and because of that we spend trillions on an election that we don’t actually need, because at the end of the day, he is coming back. But we need better hospitals and better pay for teachers.”
Paul (not real name) said he wouldn’t vote because in their family, it’s a taboo to vote (dude actually said it without fear or favor), and I was like… (Ohm, I said no judging).
Daniel (not real name) said he wouldn’t vote because he is comfortable with the current government, he has his peaceful sleep, food, data and a smartphone. The other two said they wouldn’t vote because it would be useless to stand for hours under the cruel sun and their vote doesn’t count.
Bottom line is, many youths have given up on our country, they would rather follow up on American Politics but ignore our own, and should we also blame this on the dollar rise? No, we should blame this on ourselves, we haven’t done much to change the current status and all we do is whine about how our country has gone to the dogs and about how JPAM is doing it wrong and all this while, the still undecided (those below voting age) are listening and taking notes, we are busy giving them a memo on why they shouldn’t vote and when they clock voting age, they do the same and such is the patriotism we are displaying.
Looking at all the current 2016 presidential candidates, I would say none is worth being our president, but come 2016, I will go throw in an invalid vote because people have to see me vote. Please hear me out;
- President Museveni is now old and honestly, we need new blood in the system, he has reached that point of denial where if you cross his lane and he smells a rat, he will fire you at sight.
- JPAM would have been a good candidate but, the foolery he is displaying raises many questions and the way he simply sweeps out the promises he made when he first addressed us on becoming a presidential candidate is something to reckon, the private meetings with his former boss and whatnot all makes this look like a game of pawns.
- Besigye is not only old but also power hungry, dude has literally wanted to become a president ‘oba since when’? I recall my kid sister was still in diapers but now she is old enough to change one. What is it that Besigye badly wants to do for/to Uganda that he can’t instead mentor someone to do.
Voting is vital for this country’s growth and for the change our ageing grandparents and parents have always wanted to see, yes, the political idiocy might be a limiting factor, but we still have to vote, we all have to, because voting is simply vital.
Ps. Please make it to the 5th Annual #Youth Festival on 15th August at Makerere University freedom square, come share your thoughts and views and I will be in some corner listening on.