I have long separated my political activities from my charitable ones; I try not to ‘preach’ my personal political philosophies to my kids in Uganda. And I even gritted my teeth and brought the pro-Obama books one of them wanted.If they ask, I’ll tell them what I think but that’s a rare thing. Uganda is not like the U.S. Or is it?
One thing about Uganda is it actually has a potential for a brighter future; a moderate amount of oil has been discovered in western Uganda, far more that the country could consume itself (but not enough for a full-scale refinery operation). Also, the country is landlocked, so shipping the oil is problematical (Kenya will rob them blind for pipeline rights). So there are problems with making use of it. Negotiations as been going on for almost 6 years to figure out the contracting to even get started. Government corruption, misuse, and waste are a major impediment (no surprise there).
One of the older girls I’ve worked with is Ritah Namwiza and, out of all the ‘kids’ (now young adults) that I work with over there, Ritah is one of the most impressive. Intelligent, resourceful, caring, and guaranteed to be a success in life. I was NOT surprised when she got got picked by UNAIDS to work with them. She is spending time in Geneva and Sweden at the moment and will go back to Uganda soon. But in all our dealing, politics really hasn’t come up very much at all.
SO imagine my surprise when I read this from her on Facebook:
As a Ugandan tax payer, I am pledging to hold the government accountable for every penny they spend. Ugandans pay the government to deliver good leadership and we expect nothing less of that!
With the Global Economic Crisis closing on to the rich countries who have been aiding Africa, it is time for African leaders to wake up. Can we put our money where it is most needed? Can our parliaments stop thinking i-pads and start thinking health care? Can we cut government expenditure on say entertainment and invest in agriculture…..
I had to comment to all of this, after I was done laughing.
That makes you a charter member of the Ugandan Tea Party! No matter what ugliness the media tries to paint the Tea Party, this is EXACTLY the kind of declaration that started us and is our primary focus.
Have to use different symbology though; the Tea Party yellow of the Gadsden flag matches your president’s color. But do NOT discount the need of coming up with an effective imagry to mark your efforts. Our stupid little Teapot in red white and blue with ‘TeaApproved’ across it was detested by the local establishment, for it now represents their first defeat in 25 years.
If you girls want to get started in what we call grassroots activism, I’ll be happy to help all I can.
It looks like my next political campaigns after 2012 will be in Uganda; their election cycle is 2015 and that gives us time to get Ritah and similar sharp, bright go-getters elected.
And my ‘daughter’ Irene Birungi has also chimed in on the effort- as a member of the ruling party cadre, no less! (Going for change things from inside). She insisted I make the following image- which used the text from a bumper sticker on the Ugandan flag- as a sticker that she can distribute. I told her, I hope the bail isn’t too high if she gets jailed for this. She also had me create a T-shirt with it.
So now I’m aiding efforts to fight the professional political class on 2 continents.