When NRM Makes It Rain



One evening at a home in a small village just outside Masaka. Where this picture was taken. And also when it was taken.

From outside the room a door is heard slamming and a tired but shrill voice echoes through the wall.

“Nakanjako! I’m home!” it cooes.

“Oh shit!” thinks Nakanjako to herself.

“It’s me, your mum,” says the voice. “I just got back from the Wesigye Besigye campaign team meeting.”

“Crap,” thinks Nakanjako. “She wasn’t supposed to be back for another hour. Fack! Besigye always falling in my plots… I had better find a way to hide these dimes.”

She leans towards the door and shouts, “Give me a minute mum. I’m finishing something here.”

Her mum replies, “Are you struggling to finish your UPE homework from that poorly-facilitated school where the underpaid teacher only spends his meager and late salary on liquor because, munange, the system is a shambles under the current regime?”

Nakanjako looks at all that freaking moolah. “Um… Yeah. That’s right. That’s exactly what I’m doing. Maths homework. Counting.”

“My daughter, I just want you to know,” her mother continues pensively, “I know things are kind of rough right now. What with all this biting poverty of ours.”

Nakanjako muses “Speak for yourself…” as she pops a pimple with a 20 K note.

“Your dad is unemployed and I am an unempowered woman who has been neglected by the NRM all these years, but I really believe things are going to get better when President Besigye wins. Things are going to be much different.”

“Yeah,” responds Nakanjako. “Looking forward to that.”

Mama Naka goes on: “He promised that poverty reduction will occur.”

Naka scoops a booger out of her nose with a 10 K. “For some of us it has already started,” she says to herself.

“I know we have been struggling,” the woman continues from the other room.  “Drinking tea without sugar. And sometimes even without tea leaves…”

“Yeah. That’s called water, mum.”

She continues: “But let us wait for Besigye to save us. Remember during walk to work, when I was teargassed so bad that I became cross-eyed? When Besigye becomes president he will improve health services and I will get spectacles…

Nakanjako looks at her new ipad, “Meanwhile I am here ordering Ray Ban shades on Jumia,” she thinks.

“Are you feeling okay? You are rather quiet,” the old woman calls.  “I hope you are not sick. You know how our region has very low access to modern toilet facilities, which leaves our young ones susceptible to cholera and typhoid and dysentry…”

“No, I’m fine. I’m fine,” Naka reassures her loudly. Knowing that after she ordered burgers from hellofood delivery, she called helloshit to come and take away the outcome. She doesn’t need a toilet any more.

“Besigye is the only one who can save us from our poverty, dear,” her mum concludes.

“Yeah. The only one.” replies Nakanjako.