#goals. A cross section of Ugandans celebrated the end of last year with more gusto than ever as if to say good riddance. All around 2018 was a dramatic year, fraught with economic and political upheavals. What if there was a way our leaders could help make this a better year? They could probably start by making the kind of resolutions that benefit us on an individual level, writes Ian Ortega, tongue in cheek.
Doris Akol Commissioner General, Uganda Revenue Authority
2019 will mark Akol’s second term at the helm of the tax collection body. 2018 brought with it a pair of twins for her. As pastors often say, it was a bountiful harvest. That aside, 2018 was also the year we began paying over-the-head tax. Despite the initial drop in the social media usage, Ugandans still found their way around the great wall. In 2019, Akol’s number one resolution should be about curbing those evading this tax. As long as someone is seen using social media, without evidence of paying the tax, they should be investigated. We do not have to start from far, we can start with our resident addicts; the Bad Blacks of this world, all top bloggers. For 2019, there is only one resolution, ensure 100 per cent social media tax compliance. We do not care about the multi-nationals or the big fish. If we can send the message to the silver fish, the big fish will have no doubts about our seriousness.
Quinn Abenakyo Miss Uganda, Miss World Africa 2018
For our gold standard in beauty, Abenakyo, the 2019 resolutions are already set out. The President of this country already outlined the pan-African causes to pursue going forward. This year, Abenakyo should have only one resolution; to make every Ugandan woman go natural. Whatever that means, we are behind her. If it is hair, it will be natural. If it is accents, we shall keep them natural. Since these are the kind of projects that result in economic development, why not? Expect hashtags such as #Freemyhair #GoNatural #OrganicLooks. We can leave causes of mothers dying during childbirth to the next Miss Uganda. The next Miss Uganda can handle the high school dropouts for female students. If it is not natural, it will not concern us. These were orders from above.
For the UNRA ED, there is only one resolution for 2019; “learn Chinese, and have every other Ugandan learn Chinese”. On this resolution, they will have to work hand in hand with Maama Janet. Because the Ministry of Education and Sports will have to make Chinese a mandatory language of instruction. Speaker Kadaga will have to chip in, we shall need Parliament to pass it as one of our official languages. Whereas the President is obsessing about keeping the hair African, we shall not accept these standards when it comes to languages. We can quantify this resolution; “have half of Ugandans exhibiting basic literacy in Chinese by December 2019.” Since our Chinese friends are funding our construction, providing the expertise, and then the goods that will be transported on these roads, we ought to take the language serious across the value chain. To make this 2019 resolution even personal, all employees of UNRA should be able to write their boss’ name in Chinese. Qīngchǔ ma? For those lost, it is to say; ‘are we clear?’
Janet Museveni Minister of Education and Sports
We were told education was the key, but it seems the locks have been changing over time. The key no longer works as perfectly. The critics often say Ugandan graduates are not prepared for the job market. Since it is the schools that ought to prepare them, we have a few resolutions for our honourable minister. In 2019, all Universities should be directed to have a full-refund policy. Yes, for every graduate that spends more than two years looking for jobs, why not refund their tuition? On a serious note though, in 2019, we should have a zero tolerance to those complaining about the education system. If someone hates the Ugandan system, we have an international system. They can opt for the international curriculum. Better still, Entebbe Airport has not closed, they can always fly out for semesters at the Ivy League universities.
Grace Akullo Director, CID
Have you seen the cameras in your area of residence? If not, then there is a likelihood, you are not part of Uganda’s urban class. Towards the end of the year, a phone thief was recorded during the act. Within two days, the police presented him to the public. The CCTVs were working. When all is said and done, AIGP Akullo has just one task in 2019, to prove to us that these cameras also work on the big thieves, the ones that have bodyguards. We need proof that the fish nets are working by them trapping the Nile perch not just the silver fish. Going forward, we do not expect paintings of Monalisa in the aftermath of a crime.
aka Maama Phina Leader of Uganda Traditional Healers
2019 is the year for Maama Phina to demonstrate some of her powers. All we want for a resolution is a national prophecy that will come to pass in 2019. We could start with simple ones, Maama Phina could you tell us when and who will be wearing the victor’s crown aka engule? Since Prophet Mbonye has already announced some of his prophecies. We expect to break away from the patriarchy and have our own matriarchal leader demonstrating abilities in the field of prophecy. The energies must be balanced. It could even be as simple as warning us about the next Kampala storm.
Rebecca Kadaga Speaker, Parliament of Uganda
2018 was defined by two things in Parliament; the COSASE probe and Bobi Wine. If you think handing over power is easy, then you need to ask the COSASE leadership. They have asked for term extensions month after month. In 2019, we want to see Parliament probing more issues that relate to the common man aka omuntu wa wansi. As such, for 2019, the resolution would be to have probes on the differences between the online and offline looks of people. This will be a probe that will get us hooked onto the screens. We could have a probe on why there are always more days at the end of the month than salary in December. We could also probe why Members of Parliament never disagree when it comes to salary increments. We want probes that can explain why we have no sleep on weekends yet we struggle during weekdays. A special committee to investigate pastors who for the last decades have kept assuring us how every year is our year. These are issues of national interest and will fit in well with the theme; “my house, my rules.”
Justice Irene Mulyagonja Inspector General of Government
Corruption is a song we grew up listening to, we are now parents and our children are still listening to this song. In 2019, Uganda needs a paradigm shift. Maybe, all we need is to think out of the box. What if in 2019, we resolved to make corruption legal? For corruption in Uganda is like the legendary Hydra, the more we try to cut away at it, the bigger and stronger it gets. Perhaps, we take some humility tablets and accept this friend of ours. 2019, let us make corruption legal. If a policeman is receiving a bribe, all they have to do is note it down in the books and life continues normally. Maybe with corruption legalised, we may not even have to bother about salary increments for teachers, doctors and police officers. We could even win an award for most innovative country. The first country in the world to legalise corruption. IGG kindly give this a try, who knows, miracles happen when you least expect them.
Ruth Nankabirwa Government Chief Whip
2018 ended on a low. Singer Jose Chameleone grabbed a microphone from Nankabirwa while she was addressing an excited audience. Regardless of Chameleone’s later apologies, in 2019, the Chief Whip oughts to punish this man who keeps camouflaging year on year. 2019 is the year of revenge. When Chameleone organises a concert, in 2019, the honourable Nankabirwa ought to show up once again and speak for an hour this time round. Yes, the 2019 resolution is to avenge for the ills suffered in 2018. Then we can comfortably wind up 2019 in the words of Lucius Cornelius Sulla’s epitaph; “No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full.”
Betty Aol Leader of Opposition
Perception versus reality. All we need from our LOP, Betty Aol is more action or at least a semblance of action. The godfather of opposition, Besigye says 2019 is a year of action. So to answer the question of Museveni, perception versus reality, we need to perceive some action. We do not care how it happens, we just want action for the sake of it. If anyone has access to her journal, kindly write in the words; “in 2019, I resolve to act, or at least to be seen to act.” As such, the starting point could be the COSASE handover. We need to force Katuntu to handover by force to Munyagwa. Who says only Katuntu can finalise the investigation?