Aside from the tax increments on sports betting, imported furniture, beers and soda, i had all kinds of negative perceptions about the budget being read because like many other Ugandans, it had that ‘1986’ normalcy fever. However, when the president stepped onto the podium to make his speech, i found myself listening in, and i must say i was shocked!
It’s been long since the president made it to the budget reading in full combat wear and at first it was intriguing until his speech made it to the ‘Vogue Fashion Runway’.
First, i loved the fact that the president had, after 31 years, (i am avoiding the use of, “since 1986”) that there are “some” clothes, shoes and materials which can and have been made by Ugandans…in Uganda! He quickly informed the audience that the uniform he was putting on was Ugandan made (apart from the beret) before he showcased a few more items; the yellow NRM shirt, “…with 35 per cent cotton from Uganda and 65 per cent polyester, which we still import” and another white shirt which “…is wholly made in Uganda but the polyester is also imported and another fibre which makes it strong is also from Indonesia”….but the labor is Ugandan! Hurray, way to go! We have done a great job!
The president went ahead to emphasize his point with a showcasing of a jungle hat which he personally designed before he gifted Hon. Abiriga with his sandals, wholly made in Uganda. Do you now understand how we reached the Vogue Fashion Runway?
But he was making a point though; we should stop misusing our purchasing power by crediting foreign products when we can support local manufacturers and employ the youth. I honestly agree with this and i am glad that the man has been in support of this angle of thought since the early 1950’s when KCC milk made it to the Ugandan markets and he stopped purchasing soda to support Kenyan manufacturers. I believe we can follow our president and buy Sembule Televsion sets to support the…oh wait, he asked for a bail out and couldn’t get any. Sorry. We can, like i was saying, opt to buy Ugandan clothes from Nytil and…and…(you know it’s really hard to name others!) and i forgot to mention the fact that i am not sure Nytil still exists!
There are initiatives the president has set up to support the youth (…again). During his speech, he showcased one of them and mentioned others where he had spent about 300 million shillings to help curb youth unemployment. He promised them (the ones he showcased today) machines to help them manufacture what they had studied. And at some point i heard my dear president insinuate that we should create jobs for our youth within the country rather than let them leave and go work as house maids abroad. Well well well…aren’t we such a great nation at making plans and keeping them! Let me sip on some coffee as i watch ‘Boss Baby’, another great comedy!
It wasn’t a very uncolorful budget reading as usual thus!
I learned a new word from the East, ‘Nyeko’ and an English term, “Change Of Use”. Nyeko is a Langi word meaning jelousy, and allow me use it to those hating on my opinion; you have ‘nyeko’. It was interesting also to learn that we can simply just come up with a new coffee factory in namanve and choose to ‘do other things’ with the existing one in Bugolobi…it’s called “Change Of Use!” It’s a new terminology.
In a nutshell, whilst some may feel like the budget was all gloom and ‘ceremonius’ (Kizza Besgye…hi! Nyeko?) i had so much to take away from the reading especially during President Museveni’s speech. I hope and pray that whatever has been planned and passed may actually come to pass…For God and My Country.