This columnist has lived in this dusty Pearl for many, many years. So many, he has seen the Union Jack lowered and the Uganda Flag raised for the first time amidst overwhelming joy. The feeling that, “This is it. This is what our parents and grandparents died for. This is what Benedicto Kiwanuka and all the rest lived, breathed, bled for”. The feeling that it all made sense finally. Thank you, YouTube.
Fast-forward a few years and well, things are nothing like they ought to be. The talent is there. The skill abounds. The natural resources, those are plenty. What is missing? This columnist will not attempt to place a finger on it but he will make a few observations on what he has seen this week.
He has seen a pregnant woman, about a week to delivery, travel to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to pick up her passport. She has been doing this for over a month. He has seen her treated like dirt at the gate, squeeze into a tent to stand and wait for hours for someone to come out and read out, to a tent full of over 100 people, the five passports that are ready. Is it possible to pin-up the names of all the passports that are ready so people do not lose so much time? Would the country, the one our fore-fathers died to get independence for, benefit from these 100 people out there being productive? Is it too hard to set-up SMS notifications that tell you when your documents are ready so you can go pick them up and use the rest of your time, time you would spend waiting?
He has seen people make appointments and fail to show up all the while not communicating what is going on. He has seen an entire day’s programme re-arranged for several people because one person failed to keep time. He has seen people deliberately start to go late because they do not expect any better of the person they are going to meet. He has seen a country slide into waiting. He feels if the pearl of Africa were a computer, it would be stuck at ‘Loading…’. We wait. I wait. Hours lost. Days gone. Waiting. The columnist is part of the waiting game. This is him vowing to make every effort to do his part; to show up. To reduce the waiting, even by just one person.