Category Archives: Opinions

Love & Life

Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 4.51.41 PMMy wife and I have been going through one of those times where you annoy each other more times than usual. It had got so bad to the point where every time we tried to have a conversation, it always ended up with us getting angry at each other – most times over petty things.

A while ago, she proposed that we should talk to someone, and me with my huge ego from Bushenyi that can fill a pioneer bus alone, I obviously refused. She didn’t give up on the idea – she is an extremely stubborn woman. She went a head and scheduled a coffee with Bishop Zac. I have to say, I respect that Bishop and there is no way I was going to stand him up. So, I allowed to meet him and I have to say it was easier than I thought and obviously much more rewarding than I expected.

We had a great one hour chat with the Bishop, who listened more than he contributed. Here we were, talking to each other in a way that we had not done in a while. I was listening and she was listening. Our issues were pretty much resolved by ourselves! All the Bishop had to do was sit there, listen and allow us to express ourselves.

Anyways, this experience got me thinking about love and life. It got me reviewing the relationships and the people around me. It is very interesting to note that Romantic love can actually be more destructive than we think. You have seen all these love crimes that happen every other day? How about the greatest love story of all time; Romeo and Juliet. It was actually a more chaotic story that we realize. It was filled with death, feuds and suicide!

Studies show that love is like a drug – cocaine to be precious! Love gives us the stimulating effect to the brain, just like cocaine does. When in love, we experience intense highs when things are good and then crash down hard when things go bad. That is why, there are people who get heartbroken all the time but just keep on getting from one relationship and straight into another – they never stop. These are pretty much addicted to the love high. They tend to use love as an escape from their problems or as a distraction without even knowing it.

It is very interesting to note that back in the day, our forefathers new about these effects of love and thats why marriages were not based on love but rather on respective skills sets of the partners. How well do they compliment each other? How well will they be able to support each other to do great things? These days however, most marriages are based on love and when the high is over, most of us do not know how to deal. Hence, more divorces than back in the day.

I know people who got married or are married for love are probably rolling their eyes, and a few others thinking… Shoot! We are doomed! No, we are not! There is a backdoor to making things work. Instead of focusing on your feelings – that is the love high, focus on supporting your partner. In simple terms, be a friend. When the high goes down – which it always does, you shall still have the friendship bond to jump things up and get the high effects back on.

To happier relationships.

PS. There is no shame in talking to someone about your issues. Do not bottle things up. They will blow up and it will be too late to get help.

PPS. They say to conquer your flaws, you must first accept them.

PPPS. Yes, he asked the question.. How is your sex life?!
God! That question!!! It never stops being awkward answering that question.

The 5am Hour

5-AM-THE-HOUR-WHEN-LEGENDS-ARE-EITHER-WAKING-UP-OR5am is the hour when legends are either waking up or going to sleep

For the biggest part of this year, I have been waking up at 4:45am or 5am. Unfortunately for me, it has not been very easy at all. Some mornings I have literally got out of bed walking like a zombie with bloodshot eyes after going to bed past 2am.

See, two things have happened this year; one, I made a decision to always be the one to get my older son ready for school no matter what. I mean, it doesn’t matter if I get home at 3am in the morning on a school night, I will set 10 alarms if I have to, but I shall be the one to get my son ready for school. Two, I started mountain biking every Sunday morning, which means I can no longer stay out late on Saturday nights.

Anyways, back to the 5am hour. Not only do I get to enjoy an hour of bonding with my older son from 5am to 6am every morning, I also get to get an early start for my day. The hour from 6am to 7am has turned into my personal hour where I get to reflect about what my plans for the day, or I get in a few minutes of a workout, and all this sort of gets me in a zone that literally drives my day – its amazing.

A couple of times I have been out with one of my very good friends on a school night and told him how I have to turn in early to be able to get up at 5am without trouble and he constantly tells me, I quote
“Why do you make yourself suffer when you can afford a helper who will get up at 5am to get your son ready for school?”
My answer to him has constantly been the same, I LOVE DOING IT.

Honestly, I can’t wait for the time when my passion for the bonding time and what I do (read work) starts getting me up.
When I won’t have to set any alarms.
When the “excitement” to start my day will just spring me out of sleep.. BOOM! Just like that.

Here is to growing, to learning, to being more passionate about the things that mean a lot to us.
Here is to the 5am hour!

 

SIM Registration – Is there anything to debate about it?!

There has been a lot of noise about this issue from bodies like; ICTAU, ULS and the like.. Yes they do raise a number of legit issues but lets face it, we are simply being lazy and raising excuses like we always do. Here are some things to take note of;

  1. There was a claim by a one Andrew Karamagi, I quote “For a population of over thirty five million, with only four million two hundred thousand National IDs collected… [skip skip], how are you going to re-register twenty two million phone users in the period you have provided?” –
    1. News flash, there are ONLY twenty two million SIM cards in use in Uganda – that is according to UCC.
    2. In 4 days out of the 7 days, MTN has communicated that eight million of MTN’s eleven million customers have re-registered their SIM cards.
      – Knowing the culture of Ugandans (as much as we like to deny it) we always do things last minute, the last two days will see a number of people re-register their SIMs more than those that did on day 1 and 2. If you do not believe this, send out invitation for an event and ask them to RSVP. Only 20% will confirm and an extra 90% will show up for the event – including the 10% that just got wind of the event. What does this tell you about Ugandans?
  2. There were claims about why the School IDs, Work IDs, Voter’s Cards, Driving Permits and Birth Certificates are not allowed documents. Here are my thoughts
    1. School IDs – these can be forged for a low as 5,000 UGX in any shop on Nasser or Nkrumah road. Plus they can’t be verified with ease. Imagine if you had 1,000,000 School IDs from over 1,000 schools, what sort of resources would be spent on verifying them?
    2. Same applies to Work IDs
    3. Voter’s cards – there are a number of people of that lied about their details just to get onto the registers, plus if the last elections are anything to go by, how many people did not have their details in the register? How many people had their details wrong?!
    4. Driving permits – Actually these I would support. With Face Technology, one is required to have their finger prints on file. If you lie about your name(s) or other details, that will be the person attached to your finger prints which can not be altered or forged, hence you shall permanently become that person.
    5. Birth Certificate – these are also easily forged for cheap.
      – With almost all those document not qualifying, this why the National ID is legit;

      1. there is one database that can easily be referenced with ease
      2. The details of this information are stored by one National body – NIRA, which makes them secure and dependable.
  3. There are claims that many people do not have the National IDs.
    1. Latest statistics shared by the NITA’s ED (as shared by NIRA) there are Seventeen Million registered citizens above 16 years with National ID and ONLY One million five two hundred thousand National IDs have not been picked. Hence, 15.5 15.8 Million Ugandan’s have/had National IDs

With that cleared, next question is, do you as an individual think it is necessary to have your SIM re-registered or confirmed? If you think/know that it is necessary then stop the complaining and get off your bu** and get the process done.

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 08.55.18

This is a process that will take you only a couple of seconds.

Who else thinks this Mandatory Vehicle Inspection isn’t what it should be?

Before I even get into this post, let me make this clear. I have NOTHING against vehicle inspection or any measures that are put in place to ensure #RoadSafety. I have been in three road accidents myself and I can tell you Road Safety is nothing to take lightly.

Ok, with that out of the way, If you own a vehicle or a bike in Uganda, then you have probably heard about the Mandatory vehicle inspection that was passed as a regulation in 2016. If you haven’t heard about it, newsflash! All vehicles MUST be taken to SGS Inspection Centers where they will be tested for roadworthiness. There is a deadline too.. June 2017 – so you basically have less than 4 months to get there. Eng. Ronald Amanyire, the Secretary, National Road Safety Council – ‎Ministry of Works and Transport confirmed that in June, Government will start to enforce the inspection NOT the deadline for the Inspection.

The Mandatory Inspection is not free or even cheap! – Well, Cheap is relative. Take a look at the costs

Classification of Motor Vehicles

(Section 11 of the Act)

Group of Motor Vehicles for Purpose this Regulation

 Uganda Shillings

Motorcycles Motor cycles

54,752

Motorcars and dual purpose vehicles excluding light goods vehicles Car and Dual purpose vehicles

110,212

Light omnibuses

 

Passenger Vehicles of more than 7 passengers not exceeding 20 passengers

122,012

Medium omnibuses Passenger Vehicles of more than 20 passengers not exceeding 60 passengers

59,000

Light goods vehicles Goods vehicles of less than 3.5 tons

110,212

Medium Goods Vehicles Goods vehicle of 3.5 tons and less than 10 tons

147,500

Heavy Goods Vehicles Goods vehicle of more than 10 tons

59,000

Trailers and Semi-Trailers Trailer of two axles

19,706

Not Applicable Each extra axle on a trailer

944

Subsequent Fees Payable as a Percentage of Initial Inspection Fee

Inspection Service Required

Percentage of Original Fee

Re-inspections within 30 days after initial failure without use of lane

Free (0%)

Re-inspections within 30 days after initial failure with use of lane

50%

Re-inspections after 30 days of initial failure

100%

Payment for Duplicate Certificate of Fitness

50%

Payment for appeal against results of Inspection

150%

Inspection after accident/crash and repairs

100%

Inspection required by Police Officer for a Vehicle with valid Certificate of Fitness

50%

Inspection required by Police Officer for a Vehicle without valid Certificate of Fitness

100%

I need some clarity on what exactly is checked. If you have taken your vehicle there, please share your experience with me. Tweet me @cmugume and lets have a chat.

From their website, here is what you need to check for yourself before you get there;

Before bringing your vehicle in for inspection, there are a few things you can check to maximise your chances to pass.
– Lights
  • Ensure all your headlights are working and that none are damaged in any way
  • Headlights, indicator lights, hazard warning lights, rear lights, brake lights, number-plate lights and reversing lights must all be in proper working order.
  • Check that all reflectors are working properly.
  • Always have a spare set of bulbs in the car.
– Brakes
  • If your vehicle pulls slightly to one side when you brake, this may be a sign that your brakes are not working correctly, or that there is a brake imbalance. Have them checked and, if necessary, replaced before your roadworthy test.
  • Check your brake fluid. Low brake-fluid levels may indicate a leak in the brake line, which will need repair.
– Tyres
  • Check for tyre wear and tyre pressure. If your tyres are worn or deformed (bulges), change them.
  • If you see excessive wear on one side of the tyre, this means your vehicle has steering-geometry problems and/or worn suspension components, which must be corrected.
  • Current legislation states that tyre tread depth should be at least 1.6 mm across the entire breadth of the tyre.
– Vehicle registration plates
  • Ensure that your license plates are securely fitted and are not damaged, cracked or discoloured.
– Outside checks
  • Make sure there are no oil stains on the ground in the place where you normally park.
  • The glasses of your vehicle must comply with the legislation.
  • Doors and windows must open and close properly.
  • There should be no sharp edges on the vehicle’s bodywork.
  • Make sure that your windscreen wipers and wing mirrors are correctly attached to the vehicle.
– Inside checks
  • Ensure that the locking/release mechanisms for all seatbelts are working properly and that no seatbelt is torn or damaged.
  • Check that the car horn is operating correctly.
  • Ensure that all seats are properly secured and in good condition

This is pretty much the checklist that is done almost every time I take my vehicle for service, what am I paying the 110,212 UGX for? Is it for the sticker?

Car service for a Toyota will cost you just about that much – so basically one pays the cost of service only be told what his/her vehicle is missing! Why not put some of that money on replacing some of those items then one can get value for money?

Additionally, so I have brought my vehicle for inspection and it passed, after 30 days I bring it back and it passes again. On route home, I hit a pothole (Which you can’t miss in this Kampala) and BOOM!!– suspensions gone, then… side indicator lights are stolen while I parked at the supermarket to get milk for my son. What will the inspection have achieved? Right there and then as my vehicle is no longer roadworthy. It has dead suspensions, missing side indicator lights… Yet, has a PASSED INSPECTION sticker right there on the windscreen.

What’s the point? Will the inspection have achieved anything?

You do not carry out one time inspection for a problem that could happen any day and any time. What you need are regular inspections on different routes where drivers with vehicles that are not roadworthy are given tickets to have their vehicles repaired in a set timeline or they pay a fine.

What can be done about the current Inspection system?
Simple, Inspect the car and if it does not pass, give the owner a timeline within which to fix it and if they don’t get it fixed, they pay the 110,212UGX as a fine.

Here is the biggest benefit for this car inspection that many people are missing, the data collected! Right now as it stands, if you wanted to get good data about vehicles in Uganda, you would have to reference information from three sources, URA which registers private cars, Chief Mechanical Engineer that registers Government cars and the Ministry of defense. If you are looking for details about accident cars/written off vehicles, then you go to the Inspector of Vehicles.

Now, take a second and imagine what it means if SGS is able to collect all this information about all the vehicles on the road in Uganda. This is data that will be very useful to parastatals like UNRA, KCCA and the rest in planning both for things like public transportation and road networks.

I see all this value and recommend it, but my question is should the private car owners that pay HEAVY taxes to own vehicles be the ones to meet the cost of collecting this data – since reducing the vehicle accidents on the road cannot be the primary reason?

Lets put this money into perspective; Here are the rough figures of vehicle numbers in Uganda calculated from the last data collected from National Transport Master Plan, there is an average growth of 11% annually and 50% of these vehicles are in great Kampala metropolitan area.

 

2014 2015 2016 SGS Charge Total UGX
Motor Cars 168,792 187,359 207,968 110,212 22,920,569,216
Light Goods Vehicles 116,265 129,054 143,250 122,012 17,478,219,000
Minibuses 82,008 91,029 101,042 59,000 5,961,478,000
Trucks 48,375 53,696 59,602 147,500 8,791,295,000
Motorcycles 366,442 406,751 451,494 54,752 24,720,199,488
79,871,760,704

With the current accidents and condition of the cars imported in Uganda, you can say 20% of these cars are already written off. That gives you 63,897,408,563 UGX. Lets further assume that only 50% of all the vehicles will be inspected, that gives you 31,948,704,281 UGX as the money that will be collected by SGS.

Here is another scenario that can be considered:

Right now, we are at UBA …C series. Every letter series has 1,000 Vehicles, and all letters of the alphabet are used except “o” and “i”. Simple math, UAA …A to Z, minus o and i, gives you 24,000 Vehicles. Now do the math for UAB – UAZ, that will give you 576,000 vehicles. With the earlier accidents and condition of the cars imported in Uganda assumption,  20% of the cars mostly from the UAA – UAG models are already written off. That give you about 460,800 vehicles. This is not including the tax exempted cars and duty free vehicles (That is the vehicles with white numbers on red or blue background plates). Using an average of 94,670 UGX (Which is the average of the SGS costs shown earlier) it would be 43,623,936,000 UGX to inspect all the vehicles. Well this is the best case scenario. Lets assume that only 50% of all the vehicles will be inspected, that still give you 21,811,968,000 UGX. Question is, where is this money going? If it is to facilitate SGS to carry out this inspection service, is it fair for the car owner to be the one to incur this cost?

I leave it to you.