OPINION: Buy Uganda Build Uganda. “Mum is feeding us on yesterday’s spoilt diluted leftovers.”

OPINION: Buy Uganda Build Uganda.

On the political scene, “most” African leaders with a bad domestic record promote the need for African nationalism to hide their failures.

The masses are imagining whether Pan Africanism means torture, intolerance, favoritism, and wonder what will happen if it is distributed all over the Continent.

One of such failures is favoring foreign investors over local investors. Foreigners get tax holidays, free land, and sometimes access to loans with government aid.

Like a Luganda proverb that goes “anamma ababe, nti leka n ‘abeeri balye ( it’s only one with intentions of denying his own people food that calls for feeding strangers first).

The locals are left with a heavy tax burden that sometimes compromises the quality of their products.

A few years ago, there was a call to promote Ugandan-based products. Ugandans were called upon to support their own. From concrete block-making foreign-owned companies to drinking water bottling Chinese-owned factories, there was a parroted slogan “buy Uganda Build Uganda”.

A company selling building materials hit the market with a force at a speed it has equally used to gain distrust among Ugandans because, in just two years, the customers were considering replacing their deteriorated tile products that were already fixed in their houses.

The national bureau of standards is either underfunded or just overwhelmed to handle the big load of work. Skin bleaching creams are surprisingly passing the mark of quality, some tap water is packed and sold as mineral water with doubtable quality.

Ugandans are fed on sub-standard products and are supposed to consume them at their expense all in the name of supporting Ugandan industries irrespective of whether all profits are repatriated to foreign countries.

The greed and need to make quick profits, competition from foreigners has driven Ugandan business people into trading from “the gutters”, poor staircase, poor ventilation, no elevators, rent paid in Dollars, pay per use toilets are the challenges you have to live with if you are a tenant in one of the city arcades owned by Ugandan business people.

Poor customer service, poor quality products, poor time management, has become our second nature.

The Uganda Communication Commission in a bid to promote local content instructed broadcasting houses to portion-time to promote local programs.

In compliance, the radio and TV stations for what I think was a lack of alternatives all resorted to local music or gossip about Musicians “ba celeebu”.

Like a daily dose of tablets, 4 times a day our ears are fed on music and rumors, ( breakfast shows, lunch hour requests, After six, and after 10 pm).

At times with a few minutes allotted to sports which mostly covers European countries’ football leagues and a few mentions of Ugandan sports “wrangles”

“Local Musicians ” known for throwing unmeaningful lyrics on foreign music beats of songs like “hot this year”, Burna Boy’s “Kilometer” to Ciphas Semenya’s Angelina, dance away swinging their arms high in a boastful nature believing that they are hitmakers.

They have on several occasions complained about the lack of support from Ugandans who prefer listening to Western and Nigerian Music.

They forget the bar brawls they involve themselves in that are reported on the same stations giving them airplay at the same time expecting Ugandans to support their music and have children look up to them as role models.

Unfortunately, we are used to living with all kinds of wrongs. The more they are dangled before us, the more we consider them to be right. However, we are yet to swallow the “BUBU” pill.

The call to promote local content and products is chorused like the national anthem without really meaning the words pronounced.

This is like the taste of yesterday’s diluted soup and someone needs to remind Mum that we are tired of being fed on Last night’s spoiled diluted leftovers which she can’t taste herself.

If the children of the politicians are not attending UPE schools leave alone their families getting treatment from local hospitals, why then expect us to spend our hard-earned “ka money” on the poor quality Ugandan products yet the promoters and their families can’t touch them with their bare hands.

We need value for our money we are not here to give charity to investors.

Absolom Lubwama

Contributor, The Postdale Daily

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