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OPINION: What crime did Zari commit? Asking for credentials or asking we think a little more?

For the last couple of days, there has been animosity, abuse, bullying, and utmost social disrespect towards the person of Zari Hassan, arguably Uganda’s most successful socialite, once-in-a-while singer, and former Tourism ambassador.

Zari got herself in trouble for speaking about Uganda’s currently untouchable- Bobi Wine, as has been the case with whoever comes up to call for reason, once they throw in a few jabs or seem to divert from the narrative of People Power or seem to make a point that they do not support Bobi Wine’s magic shoot to the stars; Such people will be hanged dry on social media and given enough reason to imagine they made a wrong call.

Zari, and several other people who have tried to express their innocent views all of a sudden become stupid, devoid of wisdom, bought out, or unpatriotic. Could lose followers, get scorned, abused, and rinsed in all manner of bitter and ugly words. Their crime being? They talked and forgot to say the current government must fall very quickly and Bobi Wine takes over.

On the other hand, those who have plastered all form of praise, dug deep and sang praises for Bobi, encouraged the dream and prophesied seeing him inspecting the guard of honor at Kololo have been viewed as the most bright people this nation ever produced, the most patriotic, and the ones who care most about the muntu wawansi! ..the social media numbers have bulged in seconds and their long social media ramblings garnered a huge share of traffic, with comments clapping them on raining on the posts in microseconds!

Well, that is what it is: Bobi is the King of social media, just like Besigye was before Bobi and Mbabazi once were; there is always that group that switches allegiance and when they go, they carry with them their briefcases of abuse, and their failure to debate. You either speak like them or you speak like them. They are intolerant and feel everyone owes them a hearing.

And thus, Zari’s biggest case was to run her mouth in the opposite direction, and like that, she has created a litany of analysts, who are reading her political slogans and taking her through how Museveni’s government has ruined this nation beyond redemption.

The same group is forcibly expressing to her that Bobi Wine needs to climb into the chair with or without fail. While others, have fine-tuned their insult game and are bathing her in a tribe of insults!

But is it wrong for Zari to call upon the social media citizens (who are by the way less than 2m) to double-check the candidate they want to trust a nation clocking 50 million people?

I mean is it wrong for her to show that as much as we seek to change, not every change is change, some change is same change? Does Zari have a chance to air an opinion and it passes without insulting her? Is it not incumbent on those insulting her to reasonably debate and help her snap out of her ‘wrong’ mind?

The biggest percentage of these are urban youth who have decided to press all their frustration on the sitting government while holding a high sense of entitlement to various benefits from the government, irrespective of whether resources are there or not! Oh to them resources are in plenty, they have just been swindled by a few people in power.

It is with this form of entitlement that they have turned to anger at the back of sheer laziness and exaggerated demands.

A week ago, I wanted to repair a fridge, I looked around Kyaliwajjala and came across a workshop run by a young man who was clad in a red beret for People Power. Straight into the business, we agreed on the price for repairs and I paid half of it. “I will call you in two days, everything will be ready,” he promised as he justified the amount of money he had charged.

Three days after, his phone was off, and the day after his phone was on but he did not pick. I found his comment on Facebook abusing Zari for supporting a government that has frustrated the youth!

Such a young man has in his head insisted that the government is the beginning and end of the conditions he is undergoing, while he sits on my fridge and blocks all effort for me to recommend my other colleagues to him. He wants change! Maybe then, he will get richer with Bobi Wine in State House.

A year back, I took interest in one of the carpenters that had come to handle my landlord’s woodwork, some of the work included working on doors to the house I was booking in.
I took interest and asked that he installs a small bathroom cabin in the bedroom. This was his answer in Luganda;

“Sir, that would be too much money since I am here on the work of the boss. But if you don’t mind paying, give me a deposit of Shs100k and I will deliver the box using the wood at the workshop.” I paid and ….oh remembered one more thing. “Can you also create a small compartment where I can put the gas cylinder in the kitchen?” I asked.

“Yes, as I told you I am strictly here to do boss’ work, yours will cost more, that specific one will cost you 180k,” he said while he focused on his work seemingly disinterested, yet interested.

While I wired the money on his mobile money, he kept murmuring: “you people from that side have so much money, you are the one in power, for us, we are suffering.” I took no interest in his comments because he was entirely wrong about everything anyway.

I forked out the dime and there he promised me deliveries of standard work in under a week. I entered the house on July 4th, 2019, it is July 8th, 2020, and still no sign of deliveries.

The young man disappeared from the boss’s work and ran away from his workshop boss, who came to report to me that ever since he pocketed my money, he has been throwing in one lie after another and missing duty. Such a young man is out there seeking for change as well.

Such a young man is frustrated that Museveni’s regime has frustrated him and quickly wants Bobi Wine in State House he gets out of his hiding and maybe deliver my items and get rich.

Almost every month, factories are commissioned and these are employing our children; Youth are being skilled under the Presidential Initiative on Skilling, and they are setting up enterprises, roads are being rehabilitated with new ones commissioned, these our children being employed; Markets are being built regionally and these contractors are employing youth.

The president has been preaching about manufacturing our things, and the COVID-19 situation (which has indeed been handled perfectly), has given us an idea of where we need to be. A lot of money has been pumped into the UDB to provide low-interest loans to anyone out there with a buyable business idea.

There are youth that have been abandoned surely and there are victims of government’s poor planning, and then we have the youth, who have abandoned themselves and resorted to unseating the government on social media by abusing the likes of Zari and fretting about how their taxes are being pocketed by a few, while at the same time complaining they have not seen a job before.

Our GDP to Tax ratio is the lowest in Africa and this is not by default, manufacturers have been under-declaring, while others have been evading tax; this will be solved by the Digital Tax System recently introduced.

The President s encouraging most youth to join ICT, services, commercial Agriculture, and industry, because most of you do not pay tax where you are. To date, only 620,000 Ugandans pay tax on income (PAYE), of which only 62,000 pay the biggest chunk (80%) of the tax that is taking care of 45million Ugandans, including those chorusing about how it is being stolen.

Many things are not going the way many youth want them to go, but many things are passing the youth while they sit and blast mobile bundles and google insults and memes to mock Zari, who by the way is asking a pertinent question.

Do you think at the stage where we are, we just need someone to walk into statehouse because we are tired of the one who is there currently? Is our call for Change louder than our interest in seeing a specific person out and another specific one in? Are we looking at credentials before we entrust 45million to anyone?!

I do not need the answers here, because however much I appreciate your candidate dear violent youth, I want to agree with Zari, give me credentials.

By NELLY KAPO,

Concerned Citizen

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