And there you are. Helpless and hopeless about whether you will make it to your intended destination. At least on time. All hopes of making it in time have dashed from your optimistic soul. But just when you think it cannot get any worse than that, your ears pickup the wail of sirens from a far.
The number one public enemy -a motorcade, draws your desperation to a halt. You have to sit out another ten, twenty or so minutes in traffic so that a “dignified” citizen can make their way to some function around the country. Your peasantry status is not worthy of such treatment never mind the fact that you pay taxes through the nose so that the “dignified” citizen can live in heaven whilst on earth.
The ten, twenty or so minutes you sit out rile you to the bone to the extent that you start doing the math of how much actually goes in staging this farce? Why it is staged in the first place? And of what use staging it is to a country?
I’ll proudly say many a motorcade are farcical because I have found myself in this situation before and after doing the math and reading further on or into motorcades especially those within Uganda, I find them one of the most absurd things we Ugandans have to live with everyday. It is not like they are a solely Ugandan phenomenon, they do happen elsewhere but those are their problems.
And I wouldn’t whine and throw a literal tantrum if the person being chauffered is going to be productive wherever they are going. It is only a yet to be certified fact that Ugandan civil servants or our high and mighty have turned functions they attend into lodging facilities where they openly show their disinterest in the on-going activities by finding their way into slumber land the moment they are sit down.
But that is none of my business. They deserve to “meditate,” as has been said by their public relations machines in the past. Running a country like ours is not a walk in the park.
All said and done, I have failed to yield any concrete answers as to why we have motorcades for nearly all “dignified” citizens. After scratching my head close to baldness I have remained frothing with the question, what is it about our leaders that they must be a nuisance to us as the public as they travel around the country?[related_posts]
The first time you are witness to this absurdity, you may actually enjoy the skit. I’ll cite the script followed by the president’s motorcade according to what I have witnessed. At the very least, there will be about eight to ten cars which are comprising of those that clear the way, those acting as guises and those on which the bodyguards sit. Not forgetting a mobile lavatory truck. (Yes, His Excellency doesn’t turn to bushes as many a Ugandan do when travelling by road.) Before the convoy gets to wherever you are, all traffic is drawn to a halt. The actors then whiz past their audience cruising at a breakneck speed.
One wonders if the “big man” has developed a running stomach that they have to rush him to safety. If that is the case then he must be having a running stomach all year long. Or even worse, he has had one since he assumed power.
When you watch this skit, you’re left in amazement, awed and then disgusted in the end when reality dawns on you.
It is awkwardly funny that in as much as you sit in traffic jam so that “dignified” citizens make their way to wherever, they seem to always arrive late. Many functions are always delayed as these “guests of honour” make it to the function hours after you who had to wait for them to pass.
Secondly, they travel with mini-armies for all their time in power but lose their lives to diseases. First put away all the fuss about assassinations that has been widely documented. Very few African heads of state and public servants especially in recent times lose their lives in the J.F Kennedy style. They find their way to heaven (assuming that is where they all end up) via hospital beds.
Why then do they have to literally bring all their guns out whenever in public? Terrorism has in the past few decades put all humans in panic mode but it is not like all African heads of state and their immediate juniors are foes with terrorist groups. Take for instance the Swazi King who is reported to travel in twenty cars, what are the chances of a monarch losing a life in terror related circumstances? The days if the French Bourbons are well over.
Come here to Uganda, we learn about many a minister only through how they arrive at public functions. That is how they have decided to make themselves known to the public. With lean looking police escorts combing the vicinity in the name of securing the minister. What business does Al Qaeda have with you or even still Al Shabab if me the common man has not even a pinch of knowledge about you? Absurd it is.
This makes me wonder on, what is it about our leaders that they have to stage their own insecurity by moving around with mini-armies? Who are they worried about? If you believe they are insecure, recount how many attacks on our public servants have occurred?
As I muse about this farce, I’ll not bother to even talk about the cost of staging it. The cost of procuring the vehicles and the add-ons to the vehicles (some are bullet proof), the cost of servicing and fuelling. And then, the cost of maintaining the mini-armies.
In a country where even the rich and wealth are chokingly indebted when one thinks about the cost attached to having these motorcades in place, he/she will only be left frothing with anger and questioning the sanity of our leaders.