Kampala’s Hunger At Noon


After the unfortunate death of the 38 year Olivia Basemera, who represents a large chunk of desperate Ugandans struggling regardless of the risk- to put food on their children’s plates, I had an enormous temptation.

On a cloudy, dump and cold afternoons of August that followed Olivia’s last day on earth, I was taking a peaceful walk, motivated to reduce sugar levels. One of the necessities Basemera died trying to provide for her family.

A long my way I came across a street fruit vendor. The fresh looks of these fruits woke up the sleeping dog that had laid innocently in my stomach. I then stretched out a kido (Shs. 500) and I was awarded a couple of bananas in exchange.  The bananas were undoubtedly genetically modified due to their humongous sizes.

All these was happening at a boda bada stage near the Kampala clock tower on Entebbe Road. The heavy handed, sun glassed, ruthless KCCA law enforcers were visibly absent or at least to my eyes. After being handed my two GMO bananas, I rolled down the peels with such aggressive determination to pacify intestinal insurgent that is always ready to stall any human activity at any slightest opportunity of delay.

After swallowing my two bananas amid a very unpleasant gaseous mixture of black, vehicle discomforting soot from third hand taxis in dangerous mechanical conditions and the malodorous heap of garbage mounted at a pit just near the road- also serving as a urinary for the restless boda boda city transporters, I got stranded in decision.

Greatly tempted to dump at the same site as boda boda chaps standing akimbo with one hand supporting and directing their shooting muscle guns, fear struck me like a drunkard walking past a ghostly cemetery and ready to scamper at the scare of his own footsteps.

Imagining the presence of some gigantic, hard faced KCCA law enforcement officer looking but from a corner, I had to think again before I dumped my pair of banana pills unless I want to risk being pursued which would, may be, by hit of bad chance, lead to headline news on TVs and radios like Olivia’s ordeal did—you know what that means.

Embarrassed with my peels in my hands, but still hope-filled to find a trash can somewhere along the way, the hope soon dwindled as a kilometer after another from town to Kabalagala, I could hardly see one. I ended up holding my trash till I reached my dwelling place in fear of being forced to flee which would in turn result in meeting a tragic ending like Basemera.

Whenever I got tempted to throw my peels in some small bush along the way, a roving eye would turn my way and fear would engulf me like an evil spirit.

This is not the only road that KCCA has failed to avail trash bins for pedestrian travelers to throw unwanted matter.

I wanted to risk throwing my peels so that if they came to arrest me, would challenge them if they provided any trash cans anywhere around where I was.

But I realized the idea may lead me to stand before His Worship Moses Nabende at City Hall and may be handed a 3 months jail term for dumping irresponsibly.

Just imagine what three months would mean for a vendor whose family entirely relies on the one thousand he manages to wrestle from Kampala city center amid intense fear of capture by KCCA law enforcers.

While performing their mandated duty as KCCA law enforcers, they should do it with immense respect and protection of human life.

In fear for my life I have ever since dropped the idea of trying this treacherous maneuver since it may come with a heavy price should my lucks run out.