A few weeks ago, Dr Samuel Oledo led a group of medical practitioners that knelt before the president to request him to stand again for the presidency in 2026.
The praises poured onto the head of state by the good doctor are nothing he has not witnessed before in the more than three decades he has been in power. This experience has emboldened him never to underestimate anyone’s greed as well as intentions.
In a recent piece after the death of Ahmed Kashillingi, the president referred to the guerilla doctrine of constant mobility, constant vigilance and constant mistrust. Does this ring a bell to Dr Oledo?
The good doctor ought to know that the president needs partners in strategizing the improvement of our healthcare system. Issues such as compulsory health insurance for all Ugandans should have tickled the president’s mind, considering they were coming from the head of the Uganda Medical Association.
Instead, the president was treated to just another dramatic skit from some of Uganda’s finest. The good doctor ought to know that the mix-up of profession with politics is sometimes disastrous as his flock are in the bruising process of ousting him.
Stop carrying huge sums of money
With majority of Ugandans having mobile phones and bank accounts, carrying huge amounts of cash is risky.
Stories of people being robbed of millions of shillings from their homes, or car boots, are rampant. This is weird, considering the different safe financial platforms available today. Currently, mobile phone subscribers in Uganda stand at more than 28.3 million customers, implying that many Ugandans can embrace digital technology.
Even if you intend to pay off suppliers, an electronic money transfer such as by MTN Mobile Money, Airtel Money, M-PESA, etc, could serve the best option.
That is why in the public sector, international agencies, and multinational corporations, the emphasis is nowadays put on Integrated Financial Management Systems (IFMS) and Integrated Procurement Systems – all of which promote transparency and lower the risk of financial fraud.
In Africa, countries such as Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, and Rwanda have partially penetrated the digital form of storing money through the use of M-Pesa, Master card and Visa card to send and receive money. The digital money transfer is largely used in the transport sector using apps such as Safe Boda, Bolt, just to mention a few.
With the availability of mobile phones, Uganda is ready to become a cashless economy despite some level of illiteracy in rural settings. Security agencies in liaison with banking financial intermediaries should design and launch a public sensitization campaign to raise massive awareness aimed at preventing excessive use of cash and its associated risks.
Bank of Uganda, through its financial literacy programme, should sensitize the general public on the risks associated with holding excess cash. This should be on both social and traditional media in different local languages.
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and banking financial intermediaries should reduce taxes and charges on mobile money and withdrawals respectively. The source of huge sums of money kept at home should also be investigated.
Jonah Kiberu and Vincent Kibira,
Why marriages are failing
Marital problems have been and continue to exist in every society. But the situation in Uganda is getting worse, and many people are ignoring this problem and the kind of impact it could have on our society.
While there are laws that respond to some family instabilities such as spouse and child neglect, murders and assaults that are often reported, the bigger part of the problem remains unaddressed.
In order to deal with family instabilities, we need to open up the marriage “box” to critically examine the embedded power relations that are strongly responsible for the breakups. At the core of many failing marriages, the imbalance in power relations remains a sticky issue.
We have continued seeing marriage as a private venture between two individuals which should not concern other people especially when there is a misunderstanding. One way we can attain healthy marital relationships and, therefore, safe and happy families, is by encouraging mutual love and equity between couples.
So, whose responsibility is this – NGOs or the government? I suggest that ultimately it is up to each one of us to first ensure that our marriages are free of violence.
A happy and healthy family is everyone’s right. Also, let’s intervene when we witness violence in other marriages. It is important if we all became responsible and became our neighbour’s keeper. We should all say no to violence in not just our homes, but in our neighbours’ too.
Be vigilant this festive season
As we begin the festive season, a lot is at stake, especially life. End-of-year festive celebrations come with pomp and merry-making.
In Uganda, taxi and bus fares go up; shopping arcades and streets fill up; and food markets and marts are jammed; just to mention a few. Ideally, with many activities, health, safety, and security are compromised. Therefore, we ought to be vigilant during this time.
For those heading to the countryside, it is important to leave occupants in the home. Where possible, contract a private armed security guard for the days you will be away. Those travelling to the countryside should service their cars on time. Ensure that all the critical parts of the vehicle are in fine shape.
As expected, the crime rate is high during this time. Chances of being robbed or sold a wrong product are high. It is advisable that we buy from recognized shops, especially supermarkets. Obtain and keep a receipt.
Do not carry huge amounts of cash. In fact, where possible, completely avoid carrying cash. Use mobile money, and bank transfers of ATM-facilitated transactions.
Do not broadcast your travel plans. It’s common to see WhatsApp and other social medial statuses with messages such as, Dubai here I come, Mbarara can wait to reach, two hours to enter Arua city. Such messages alert the bad guys to firm up their plans of vandalising your houses and vehicles left behind. Go to your destination in silence and return in peace.
However, you can inform close people near you so that in case of no or delayed return, this team can know where to start the search. Carry some form of identification. Carry a copy of your national identity card, driving permit, work identity card with you, just in case of any emergency.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Source: The Observer