Of choosing thorns over roses: the year that was 2017.

The end of every year comes along with self reflection on achievements and failures. 2017 on my part has been one of stagnation brought about by laziness to make effective decisions. I have come to learn that with disenchantment comes responsibility in having to deal with the burden of its consequences which tends to end in a spiral decline if no definitive action is taken to radically transform one’s mindset.

Absence of any blog posts since the beginning of the year was due to personal battles in my life which could have been won only if I had not pitied myself. I took upon responsibilities that have become a proverbial “thorn in the flesh” and robbed me of flexibility and full commitment both in mind and body.

One the other hand, I question myself on who is the best teacher, time or experience?  This not to state that I have been overshadowed by personal struggles the entire year, on the contrary I have been watching the news, reading the papers and seeing the events that unfolded over the year as prominent in assassinations, political “comedy”, moments of national pride and shame, unforgettable social media trends, outstanding individuals, awe-gaping revelations and not forgetting the Trump’s , Abriga’s and Bobi Wine’s.

On a political note, I observed how the present regime strengthened is hold on power only for the opposition to help in this undertaking by exposing their weakness in sacrificing the greater good for personal aims. I will for long scratch my head trying to discern  how Kizza Besigye let down a politically experienced, exposed and seasoned ally in Mugisha Muntu by supporting a unknown and failed parliamentarian Patrick Amuriat to lead the nation’s biggest political opposition group and possibly the presidential flag bearer for the next elections. Only because of the latter’s diplomatic approach to politics which was viewed as leaning to the incumbent regime by the former.

The Ugandan Police was my worst public organ this year summarized in failure to curb serial murders in Entebbe and instead demonstrate acumen in witch-hunting political gatherings and opposition leaders. The exposures that came with the brazen murder of AIGP Andrew F. Kaweesi which revealed the  deep rot in the force culminating in the arrest of senior police officials for criminal activity ranging from armed robbery, torture of civilians to obtain false testimony, repatriating political refugees and unnecessary use of tear gas and bullets to quell every civil gathering or village disagreement.

Togikwatako in reference to the ruling party’s intentions of amending the constitution in favor for extending term limits and removal of presidential age limits was trending both as a political event of the year which saw a fist fight in parliament and as a social media war that divided the nation into “red” and “yellow” camps.

Bobi Wine’s ascension to politics by winning the Kyadondo South parliamentary election was welcomed by many although I have lost interest in his cause which seems to be lost in a blinded assumption that we all live in some sort of dictatorial regime which has by the way indirectly contributed to his success. My friend without the freedom brought by this regime, would we have known you? As much as we acknowledge this are not entirely working out politically in terms of service delivery, we should understand that this is bred democracy; along with it come the consequences of corruption, capitalism and bureaucracy. If in fact we were a under a dictatorship, the state of affairs would be much better and the social and political ills you decry would be almost non-existent.

On a social note, nothing much stood out with the exception of growing moral decay in society of near nakedness dressing, embarrassing bivulus and the ninja fighting, flock devouring and feet kissing pastors.

Technologically multiple innovations stood out such as the Pneumonia-Detecting Jacket known as Mama-Ope (Mother’s Hope) developed by Brian Turyabagye. However, it would make an even exceptional year if these ideas where embraced by the private sector or government so as live beyond the media acclaim they receive and instead make meaningful impact of those that they are intended for to use, enjoy, save, benefit and assist.

On the whole, 2017 seemed like a year of promise which did not eventually fulfill while on a personal level it was one of greater self realization. It is human nature to always remain hopeful for a different tomorrow and so in concluding this year, I move with this anticipation in mind yearning to see and experience what the next year brings and eager to overcome the tradition of making resolutions and crafting at least a definite constancy.



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