Thursday, July 30, 2009

News...Ugandan style

I didn't want to forget to share this...last week an article was written by New Vision regarding the Bugandan King and that he gave up title to some of his Kingdom's land and benefitted from that. Hard to follow but what is fascinating is that the King and his Prime Minister have called for a boycott of all New Vision products from all Bugandans. And radio journalists at the Monitor's radio stations are calling for people to not only boycott but to hurt, intimidate and hassle all vendors selling New Vision's products. Els, the executive editor at New Vision said that she had heard they are also calling for the intimidation of westerners (what isn't clear is that us white folk or is it folks from Western Uganda??) The New Vision newsroom is getting translations done by one of their newsroom guys who speaks Baganda. All very reporters calling for boycotts and then, the government cannot and won't crack down because they own 51% of New Vision so it would look like they are protecting, not freedom of speech, but their own economic interests. Very convoluted but that violence and economic intimidation and calling for strikes cannot be squelched is interesting, to say the least.

And another story: two days ago I went out to get my papers. My morning to go to work taxi guy, Deo, runs down the street every day to buy my papers for me. Then, I eat breakfast and hop in his cab. Wednesday, I look and Deo isn't there but a huge guy walks up with his hand out. He said, "Mum, I will buy your papers today." I give him the money and off he runs. When I go to leave, Deo still isn't there, but Roger, another cab guy says I am taking you to work and you paid Deo for today, so you don't pay me. So, off to work I went. What was very cool is that Deo, who had issues at home, had taken the time to make sure that my routine was not interrupted. And he communicated the whole story. I hadn't had change so paid for two trips to work and had he not shared that, I would have had to pay again. Good business happening here.

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