Apparently there is a very powerful cult of Lubaale (a native god) worship revivalists at work in our nation. Their promised land is a Uganda where all vestiges of Western civilisation, like technological progress and economic growth, are wiped out. They wish, nay fight, for it is a violent and aggressive path they choose, for a return to huts, firelight, the treatment of tonsilitis by eggplant enemas and donkey transport. These people are very strongly opposed to the new Uganda Airlines.
But please, Uganda Airlines fans, do not lump the rest of us in with those loonies when you castigate those who you say are being “negative” the planes.
It has bothered some of our compatriots that we, and yes I am included, are being “negative”. They speak of of a coterie that, reportedly “want Uganda Airlines to fail.”
No, no no, compatriots. It’s just the lubaalists who want the airline to fail. They already held a midnight feast on an island in Ssesse and sacrificed eighteen white goats in celebration when they heard the news.
“Did you hear who is going to manage the new Ugandan airliner?” asked one.
“Who? A gifted local business-person with a great track record and the best training?” another asked back.
And their glee could not be contained. All the cult members had sex during the Feast of Celebration and each couple conceived.
The rest of us: We don’t want the plane to fail. We don’t want our scanty national resources lost to bad investments. That’s exactly why we complain. Because we would really rather they had put that money in something that isn’t globally derided as a big fat black hole that swallows money and turns it into dung.
There have already been Gigabytes of think pieces about the airline industry being barely profitable; and how tourists already have plane services to Uganda that don’t cost taxpayers; how having state-owned airliner doesn’t put us on par with those rich nations we envy because the bafalansa, bazungu, bagirimani, all sold their state-owned airlines decades ago and how if a person has ruined several businesses already, giving them directorship of another one is not supposed to make your nation proud, it should make you enrol for courses in better financial practice.
“But it is unpatriotic to not support a thing with the word Uganda in its brand name!” goes the other objection.
There are two types of people who constantly have to repeat what they are not: Racists and Patriots.
Racists repeatedly echo: “I’m not racist, I’m not racist, I’m not racist, but…” and then say something racist.
And patriots are always having to reassert that they are not traitors. “I’m not unpatriotic! I want the best for my countrymen! I am committed to all my duties and obligations as a citizen and will gladly do more! I am not unpatriotic!”
You have to spit your tongue dry swearing that you are not a traitor because you don’t scream in elation whenever a new white elephant is christened Uganda White Elephant Corporation.
We have been here for 57 tough years and have seen a lot of negativity. It hasn’t always come from the citizenry. The worst of it came from the series of governments we have suffered under. You can ask our current president: he reminds you during each state of the nation address he makes.
The history of Africa’s heroes is a list of people being negative to governments which did what they felt was negative: from pre-colonialism, to colonialism, to neo-colonialism, to the era of peace and development ushered in by our gallant current regime, we have only ever saved ourselves by being negative towards the government when it acts up.
I put it to you, compatriot, that being negative is a patriotic duty. If you think they are making a mistake, you have to say it.
Now, the chances of a small poor country– and it’s easy to forget that we are poor when we are reading Nilepost off our Macbooks, but we cannot even afford to give our kids a dose of malaria meds– the chances of a poor country succeeding in the airline industry are so slim that they are not worth the risk. But if Uganda Airlines makes it in spite of the odds, which odds include its ownership, I’ll be proud of the resilience and tenacity and cunning of the people who made it.
But even after that happens and our then government decides they now want a national rollercoaster or whatever, my fellow patriots and I will still be here to negate, “But namwe be serious! What?”.