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“Everything in Uganda has come to a stand-still”
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“Everything in Uganda has come to a stand-still”

Diana Phoebe 2Uganda has been following Kenya’s election to see if it will suffer the same ramifications that followed the 2007 election, writes Diana Phoebe, 25, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Kampala. She argues it’s time for Uganda to become more self-reliant.

It is that time again, when Kenya decides. This week millions of Kenyans cast their votes to choose a new president.

For over a year Uganda has been following these preparations right from the nominations to the date that Kenya counts votes to determine the winning candidate.

Right now each and every media house is closely following the results as they are being released and Ugandans are keeping all ears to know what is going to come out of this election. You could think everything in Uganda has come to a stand-still. Then again I remembered that our safety and economy depends on it.

The last elections that took place in 2007 brought a lot of chaos. Many Kenyans were killed because two dominating tribes – the Luo and the Kikuyu – were killing each other.  There were a number of people who fled Kenya to the neighbouring countries, including Uganda, to survive the riots and chaos in Kenya.

Transport to Kenya especially by road was limited, fuel prices went up, and because of that the currency also shot up. Imports became more expensive and people were afraid that whatever would happen would also affect the elections in Uganda in 2011. This was an unexpected turn of events at that time.

Yet here we are again years later with the same fears. Many Ugandans are holding their breath to see what will happen, and are hoping for the best.  Some people have even decided to fuel their tanks and reserve tanks now just so that if anything happens they are prepared for the shortages and increases in the price of fuel. Ugandans are basically praying for peace more than the Kenyans.

This gets me thinking. When our country will be able to handle some things like fuel, or be able to manufacture quality goods so that we do not have to live in fear of such situations? When we are over- dependent on our neighbours, this keeps us fearful and at the same time forces us to bend low to their demands.

I hope that at least in the next few years we are the ones who produce more and have others depend on us. Uganda recently discovered oil in Hoima District and it is my prayer that in the very near future Uganda can have its own fuel, benefiting Ugandans so that we do not have to worry about every other election in Kenya.

Of course there are some things that we cannot change, like the transport issue. If one needs to travel to Kenya or Tanzania by road, there has to be peace in Kenya, but I am really hoping that our government can do something so that we can reduce the fear, given that we cannot change the fact that we are a landlocked country.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilri/8536198598/”>ILRI</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

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About me:

I am a Ugandan, from the Buganda Clan, and have a passion for my country. I love writing, reading, travelling and knowing what touches people the most.

I love expressing myself but do not forget the fact that there other people of different races, cultures and religions in the world who have totally different opinions from mine. I also think that no one should be denied the freedom to express themselves.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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