You Think You Have Seen Heat?

Because it was so much hotter than typical reason could justify, rumours and speculation ran rife. It couldn’t just be the sun, we reasoned; something else, something more spiteful must have been involved.

Some said it was because of Cindy and Sheebah. Some said it was typical NRM. Some said the gods of the Nile don’t like the new bridge. They found it too showy, too derivative, copyish and cliche. “Now all those lights for who? Is it Christmas bridge? Just being so extra,” was, allegedly, the comment from one particularly offended lubaale.

Then there are those that say it was the equinox at play.

Mbu equinox. Africans already have enough problems without the perpetuation of barbaric beliefs in witchcraft and sorcery like equinoxes. Let’s be rational, scientific. Yes, we had an equinox but that was not the culprit.

And yes, the Nile demigods do feel the bridge is a fugly stick, but that is not the culprit.

In Kyebando, where the most popular rolex stands are found close to the wetlands, people get typhoid after being bitten by a mosquito. It doesn’t mean the mosquito gave them typhoid, does it?

What I’m saying is, equinox notwithstanding, the heat wave had another, more significant contributor: Global Climate Change. Your buveera, deforestation and support of the US and China economies which are so prolific at earth-destroying that they essentially make pollutants out of pollutants is what did it.

The heat is gone and it is raining now, probably as you read this. Maybe you are under the shade of a bus stop, sniggering at the oversimplification I just made of China’s ecological impact, muttering, “Bazanye, is so shallow! Must be a Makerere product!” and maybe you are a pretty lady with a very attractive eighthead.

If that is the case and a dikuula sidles up to you like he think he smoove and starts asking a Mr Google for your number, don’t panic. Google does has an astonishing amount of your personal data, but the query doesn’t work unless you say “OK google”. You’re safe. Secondly, do this.

The heat is gone, and it is raining now… Well, I say rain, but really it’s just mean little drizzles, about 20 drops that flutter down for like a quarter of an hour then vanish. Most of it evaporates before it hits the ground. Useless.

But this apparent change in the weather is no change at all, I am afraid to say. This is the same pattern as the heat wave. It’s the same GCC. The sequel to the franchise, the spinoff to the series. This is not showers of blessings, this is not a rain of mercy. Climate change rain is doomsday rain, slouching towards Bethlehem. We are using the waters of armageddon to fill our water tanks, letting the waters of the apocalypse flow down our taps.

Don’t get comfortable, Bwaise. The rain will increase to flooding. It is not yet too late to learn your lesson and leave. God has already forsaken your hood, who are you to stay?

I consulted a reputable meteorologist and can confidently say the city has eight years left (the confidence comes because the words “reputable meteorologist” contradict each other). Eight more years and Kampala will no longer be habitable.

Then I re-consulted, this time with a reputable urban sociologist and got slapped. That snap-out-of-it, get-a-grip-on-yourself slap we see on TV that we now believe is acceptable first aid treatment for crazy talk.

“Kampala is already uninhabitable,” I was told and now translate from Luyaye. “It is a shambles that daily adds more confusion to itself, piling disorder onto disarray. Compounding confusion to chaos on a constant basis.

“We don’t live in Kampala, we survive  it. We don’t live in Kampala, we just make it through Kampala. We don’t live in Kampala, we just manage not to get killed by it for another day.”

But eight years is a fair estimate to my future as the Communications Advisor of the Water Chief of Mutte Fiefdom, which is now a poor neighbourhood of Masaka, but which will rise to power and prominence with a regime so brutal it will make you daydream of oppression just to escape reality.

This is what will happen. The Water Chief, master of the only stream with clear water, will be a millennial, but his top adviser will be a generation X guy– possibly me. The chief will be weak-willed and pliable, charged with hubris, addicted to praise, easily manipulated by flattery, absolutely ignorant of his/her ignorance and therefore the perfect puppet for a Gen-X cynic who saw the Soviet Union, apartheid, Kony, Amin, Mobutu, and Moi, not to mention Puff Daddy, Suge Knight, Agent Smith and Doctor Robotnik… and has distilled every single lesson of power abuse in the twentieth century from all of these sources.

Museveni will, of course, still be president of Uganda. But due to the series of secessions, the economic collapse, the breakdown of communication when traditional social media is usurped by small pirate echo-chambres, all that will be left of Uganda will be a few square kilometres around the Hoima oil fields. It will be the most impoverished of all the destitute states around it because of how worthless petroleum will have become.
What do you want oil for? Cars? Cars don’t exist anymore. Neither do roads. Neither do destinations to drive to.

Now, some say that climate change is still reversible. I believe scientists. But…

Picture the three-car convoy of some high-level government official. A chap who was bullied as a child but learned as a teen that to kiss the right bums not only gives one security but also that the stench of a stronger person’s effluence can give one the courage to do some bullying of one’s own. So he drives everywhere in a Land Rover with two police trucks fully loaded with the kind of thug who doesn’t know which lives matter.

Picture the kind of convoy that assumes that if we can’t climb onto the pavements to give way because so much of Kampala doesn’t have pavements, we should climb our cars onto each other to make way for him.

Yes, the cars that make these convoys have full gear transmission systems. They can reverse.

But just because reversal is within their capacity doesn’t mean it is going to happen.  

Anyway, enough about me. How have you been?

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