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Jinja Shall Rise And Shine Again, If It Doesn’t Go To The Political

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Jinja was known to have once been the industrial heart of Uganda -for its energy resources, functioning railway network and lake ports. And maybe it could have been the capital city of Uganda -had there not been wars between 1971 and 1986.But even after that nothing ever changed of Jinja’s ugly industrial face. Formerly industries and factories -are now bushes that people use as alternatives to pit-latrines and serving as a habitat for small animals like lizards. Not even the current investment climate and national planning processes have managed to save it.We now talk of twenty three years of NRM rule without Jinja repairs. The media report about changed face of Jinja as linked to new banks opening branches has nothing to do with revitalizing Jinja’s dilapidated factory buildings to serve its people again.Generations of local leaders have pledged to save Jinja -but it has only been Nabeeta who has tried -with a few tangible achievements -associated to him. Yes, like television and radio company.If issues of Jinja business development and youth employment are taken into account by management, they could help promote development initiatives in the area -including youth employment. But one wonders whether their services are not already outside Jinja and in totally different regions.In spite of all that, it still makes sense of him as a leader -who leads by example. He can at least be distinguished from the rest of other local leaders -who can hardly show accountability. There could be a possibility of having a handful of people employed there as well as promoting investments in the area.But beyond that, still there is a lot to be desired of him, if he expects another term of office. They remain his businesses. It is like any kind of business anybody could start as income generating venture. In fact, he is said to have narrowly escaped losing to the little known Paul Mwiru -who only surfaced once from oblivion and impressed.Nabeeta must be reminded that development to serve everybody must be the kind of community-based that captures and infects everyone. Otherwise, it leaves doubting Thomas unmoved having to front a radio station and television theater as developmental achievements for Jinja.Luckily, the kind of development characteristic of Jinja is one which is self-propelling -where people take on initiatives to start income generating projects -basing on environmental resources at their disposal. As a result developments there include; rest houses and hotels, and many fun-fare places -interwoven with deep cultural aspects.The tourism trait is now more pronounced in Jinja. Actually, people mind more their work routines than politics -until some elements surface persuading them to participate. It would seem as though Jinja advances forward with aid only from its tourism resources. However, the ultimate ever is that of leaders enlisting people’s private investments as their achievement -which could include car, house and perhaps wife.If one buys a private property, he would definitely be motivated to develop it in the best way possible -without necessarily asking for anyone’s permission. It is important, therefore, for leaders to emphasize or asses their roles in terms of guiding development -through erection of enabling policies -rather than claiming what individuals toiled for.But because somehow nature communicates and has influences on important development choices, people have been flexible enough. For Jinja, the natural forces dictated tourism and gradually displaced memories of Jinja as once an industrial hub. Indeed, following natural forces as basis for decision-making has improved livelihoods for the mainly talented or skilled people -areas of entertainment. Now, what about those outside the artistic bracket?But tourism has not been the only factor that has changed Jinja. The rapid emergency of non-government organizations are linked to tourism -as a whole. Virtually, all founders of NGOs in Jinja were inspired first by Jinja attractions.NGOs only helped them settle there much longer or to retain connection to the area. And down into the work of these NGOs, there is strong nurturance of artistic skills that will produce goods for the tourism to consume. A good example of these are the different forms of handicrafts and textile designs. Such activities help sustain organizations’ budget over a considerable period of time.This now compels us to focus attention from just nostalgia to active tourism development -as an element every resident in Jinja could support in one way or the other. The change of mindset that way would help to rapidly accelerate Jinja tourism development initiatives. This also calls for much investment of time and money into creative arts -as everyone flexibly and proudly transits to it.Interesting about tourism is the fact that it embraces everyone -regardless of his or her education background and welcomes low income groups -with their artisan works and tourism-related skills to come on board.Now it will be the leadership’s role to not only sit in offices and parliament -but mingle with their people longer -to nurture a tourism culture that eventually embodies everyone -including their mentality and practice. This, in the same breathe, will nurture unity and solidarity -necessary for further strengthening of the tourism development initiatives in the near future.But to succeed at that -Jinja must first embrace a leadership of integrity -representing the new development path -tourism; and ensure that his or her ideas are tailored around it. Fortunately, there is already evidence of excellence in hospitality and territorial beauty forwarded by departing on-contract expatriates and volunteers. This is a foundation already set that leadership of integrity could support to build on.It is rather surprising to have foreigners (non-Basoga) showing more love for Jinja than the so-called leaders. They neither network to broaden regional needs through information technology (IT) use nor make friends and partners for development. What, then, are they doing?Leadership is a big challenge as those charged with overseeing development turn out to suffocate it through greed. This only brings frustrations and disappointment on the faces of communities -who believe that development must be spanned by their leaders.At school when a teacher found pupils and students noisy he or she would wither punish the whole class -including the class-leader or blame the leader. This shows the need for unity for development to be a reality. Leaders must, thus, come on board. And in demonstrations that have occurred in the past few years in the country, the civil actions against oppressive laws were only ended through efforts of the cane squad, tear-gas and live ammunitions -and featured demonstration- leaders being manhandled along the way to prison.Perhaps, this particularly could be the action electorates like Jingo could borrow against their shameless leaders. The people of Wakes District have showed that already to their Mayor -for being a liar.Otherwise, corruption has turned out to be something seemingly very normal. It is unrecognized form of trade -in which participants feel ashamed. For example, reports from the Jinja have showed how district officials, as if looting, by-passed tender rules to grab public land for their take. If it never brings shame to the leaders, then they must know that the Basoga in Diaspora feel it.The same goes for Kyabazinga-ship. It is now evident that it is about politics and money -rather than the nobel cause of serving and uniting people for development. If an impact assessment was to be done about kingdom contribution to development, it would not be shocking to find zero on the ground to report.But why should we waste time on these institutions, then? Remember, the idea was copied from Buganda for its efficient and effective organization -to help whites manage the country effectively. So someone was chosen to do that on their behalf in Busoga -who could assume the title Kyabazinga. If the British were very successful at that under Semei Kankungulu, Busoga region can hardly account.And since white are no longer here -whom they worked for, then of what purpose is the institution and should we really continue with it? For cultural rights promotion and custodianship, clan leaders did that excellently. But over years nations have developed constitutional documents that address rights and privileges of everyone under it, and in a long run helped unite citizens.The ugly face of Jinja must be dealt with if Jinja is to progress -towards becoming Uganda’s pride -internationally. And Basoga, as a result be encouraged to come and participate in its development from wherever they are such that instead of looking at personality figures merely struggling for offices, we look at each other contribution towards development. If general elections continue to fail us, then we boycott them -onwards. Hope Jinja finds better leadership -now that the time for general elections is fast-moving forward.


Written by davisjeffery24

July 19, 2013 at 9:41 am

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