The Big man’s convoy is a piss off
By Hassan Isilow
KAMPALA- A few months back, I escorted some friends from Kampala to Entebbe international airport where they would catch a flight to the United States. But on our way to the airport, we were pissed off, when the blue lights convoy escorting the ‘big man’ pushed us off the road. The speeding motorcade appeared from no where, without prior warning. Usually traffic police officers riding on motor bikes clear the roads before such convoys arrive, but this time round this one came from no where. Our driver had to go off the narrow road and almost knocked a pedestrian.
I then asked my friends, where this very important person could be heading too. And why was he in such a hurry? One of my friends replied that the big man was probably rushing for supper at state house Entebbe and ‘feared’ his chicken soup could get cold.
We bust into laughter and forgot the misery of being pushed off the road for the first time. But as we approached Nkumba University, one more convoy escorting another ‘big man’ pushed us off the road again. This time all occupants inside the car were angry. Our driver Collin asked what exactly do these people in Government do? Why are they always in a hurry? We started debating the jobs of cabinet ministers and that of the head of state, then one funny friend said, he thinks all they do is waste tax payers money on buying expensive cars, yet most of the roads in the country were filled with potholes.
Another friend Patrick, who has been living in the United States for the past 10 years, joined the conversation saying, if our leaders were beyond doubt democratically elected then why would they need escorts? Who are they afraid of? Considering the huge size of our cabinet, how much do you think costs the taxpayer in terms of escorts for cabinet ministers, Resident District Commissioners and the District chairmen? Well some might urge that with the history of coups in Uganda the President and his vice should be entitled to escorts and a convoy. But I also think the tax payers needs to know what these officials use these motorcades (Convoys) for, because some of them abuse this privilege. For instance Former US Vice President Dick Cheney was accused of deploying amulti-vehicle motorcade complete with blocked streets and a police escort —allegedly to take his dog for a regular vet check-up.
I think the money used on these convoys and big cars for Government officials could better be used to fix our potholed roads and stock drugs in hospitals. Imagine how much ART drugs would that money purchase? And how many Ambulances would that money buy? How many kilometers of roads would that money build? I believe our tax is wasted on military and police escorts for these big men and women.
I can imagine the look on the faces of these officials whenever they drive past our potholed roads. How do they really feel?