Rajoy Not The Only One – Uganda Dissed Everywhere

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    And they are right, Uganda is dead. Even Museveni called it a dead animal he hunted and is feasting on. All European leaders and citizens know and use Uganda as a standard measure for a failed state. Now that’s the plain truth.

    Kampala slams Spain over Uganda jibe

    Thursday, June 14 2012 at 00:00
    In Summary

    Officials indicate the comments carried by the message are unrealistic and do not reflect the development strides here.


    A derogatory message sent out by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy about Uganda has drawn an angry response from Kampala with authorities accusing the European country of habouring a colonial era mentality.

    Mr Rajoy is reported to have sent this text message to his Finance Minister Luis de Guindos during negotiations on terms of a €100billion (about Shs 308tillion) bail-out for Spain’s beleaguered banking sector last week: “Resist, we are the 4th Power of the EZ [Euro Zone]. Spain is not Uganda.”

    The remark issued perhaps to urge the Spanish Finance Minister to hold out for a good deal, has caused a storm of protest online and left acting Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Okello Oryem seething. “These are the hangovers of the colonial times that some people still harbour,” said Mr Oryem, speaking by telephone yesterday from Juba, South Sudan. “They are not in touch with the reality on the ground.”
    Some have moved to loosely translate Mr Rajoy’s comment to suggest that Spain is a major power and not some random IMF-case banana republic.

    However, Mr Oryem said the Spanish Premier’s comments betray his “ignorance” about the development strides Uganda has made over the last five decades since attaining independence from Britain. “Has that man ever visited Uganda? Those who know Uganda would not make that kind of statement,” he said. “It is very unfortunate that today, in 2012, someone can say that. They are ignorant.”

    Asked whether Uganda would issue a protest diplomatic note to Spain, a country that has shared diplomatic relations with Uganda for several years and maintains a consulate office in the upscale Kololo suburb, Mr Oryem said: “His ignorance does not merit an iota of a protest note. It is not worth it at all.”

    Since issuing the remark, Mr Rajoy has appeared to portray the €100b as a cash injection and not a bail-out even though the funds have been made available because Spain cannot afford to prop up its struggling banks.

    Spain agreed at the weekend to accept the cash from the European Union to bail-out local banks said to be struggling to absorb quickly soaring real-estate loan defaults. Mr Rajoy’s comments sparked off virulent protests on social media network sites like Facebook and Twitter, with various users expressing reservation.

    On Monday, Ugandan Ambassador to Rwanda Richard Kabonero wrote on his facebook wall: “Really? With all due respect sir, you should visit Uganda. You may learn that we graduated from bail out programs years ago.”
    “Dear Rajoy, you’re right. Spain is not Uganda. Spain’s GDP growth is negative, Uganda’s GDP growth is 5.2,” wrote TMS Ruge, a Ugandan living in the US on his twitter account.

    Daily Monitor was not able to obtain a comment from the Spanish consulate.



    Yes, Uganda is not Spain, but what do we see when we look in the mirror?

    By Daniel K. Kalinaki
    Thursday, June 14 2012 at 00:00
    In Summary

    Social media networks in Uganda have been buzzing with indignation this week in response to a snide remark made by Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy.

    Social media networks in Uganda have been buzzing with indignation this week in response to a snide remark made by Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. The Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, reported that Rajoy sent a text message to his finance minister urging him to play hardball during negotiations over a bailout package from the Eurozone. “We’re the number four power in Europe,” Rajoy texted. “Spain is not Uganda.”

    The hashtag ‘SpainisnotUganda’ soon went viral on Twitter, followed not long after by one proclaiming the many things that show ‘UgandaisnotSpain’. Amidst the 140-character tirades of indignation, anger and summarised arguments about our economy not being as ill as that of theSpaniards, let’s step back and face some harsh realities.

    As far as making comparisons between the sizes of the two economies and their place in the world, Rajoy was speaking the truth, brutal as it might sound to our patriotic ears. The world would notice if Spain became bankrupt because of the size of its economy, which is several times bigger than ours, and its more central place in the international economy.

    That’s sad but true.
    I am concerned about the ill-advised rants by foreign leaders such as Rajoy. I am concerned about the snide references, from James Bond movies to American TV series, of Uganda as a war-plagued basket case. I am also concerned about the misrepresentation by opportunistic do-gooders like Jason Blair and his Invisible Children.

    What concerns me more, however, is our own indifference to the truths behind some of these lies.
    At Independence in 1962, Uganda had more impressive development figures, or at least relatively similar development figures with countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Ghana, South Korea, etc.

    Some 50 years later we import Samsung and LG goods from South Korea and send our children to prostitute themselves in Malaysia but cannot even produce a mobile phone battery or plastic case? Where is the outrage over that?

    We complain about the constant references to Idi Amin, despite him having left power over 30 years ago but remain silent when reminded that a third of our country, which was held hostage to war for over 20 years, is now held down in the unclenched fist of poverty. Where is the outrage over that?

    We gloss over newspaper stories that speak to the modern-day horrors of parents tying their ill children to trees because there is no proper medical care available for them from a government that spends Shs350 billion a year in sending its officials and cronies to foreign hospitals. Where is the outrage over that?
    We shake our hands in indignation when described as a basket case third world country led by a despot when we have a personality cult around a President in power for three decades, and have failed to develop and nurture institutions that work independent of individuals. Where is the outrage in that?

    How can we accept robber barons to steal from the poor and the sick, celebrate them as “heroes and celebrities”, and then go frothing at the mouth over homosexuals when many of us would not be able to name one even if our lives depended on it?

    How can we be so accepting of mediocrity in and around us, and yet be so ferocious in our criticism of those who peddle intellectual mediocrity and mendacity? We have been conditioned to settle for whatever crumbs of development we receive, never to ask what we deserve and what happens to the rest of the pie.
    Well, if patriotism saddles one with the responsibility to defend one’s country, then I imagine it also gifts one the right to question its misrule.

    I am proud to defend my country when our honour and genuine achievements are disparaged, but I am unable to find it within myself to ride the bandwagon of empty, predictable navel-gazing, played to a cyber gallery, while ignoring the potholed boulevard of our broken dreams.

    Spain is not Uganda. Uganda is not Spain. The two statements are as true as they are obvious. The Spanish have a load of problems with their debt, unemployment and lack of economic growth. We can spend all the hours we want pointing to our own positive economic growth rate, our mountain gorillas and all the beautiful things we have.

    Or we can look in the mirror and see our tattered clothes and our lost dreams. Uganda is not Spain, but neither are we South Korea or Singapore. That is what should upset us.


    Alex KigongoAlex Kigongo

    Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain is a sovereign state and a member of the European Union.

    Spain is now composed of 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy thanks to its Constitution, which nevertheless explicitly states the indivisible unity of the Spanish nation. The constitution also specifies that Spain has no state religion and that all are free to practice and believe as they wish.

    Mainland Spain is a mountainous country, dominated by high plateaus and mountain chains. There are several major rivers in Spain such as the Tagus, the Ebro, the Duero, the Guadiana and the Guadalquivir. Alluvial plains are found along the coast, the largest of which is that of the Guadalquivir in Andalusia.

    Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a developed country with the twelfth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP, and very high living standards, including the tenth-highest quality of life index rating in the world, as of 2005.


    You were right admin sir, Rajoy is not the only one disrespecting Uganda and Africans as a whole, especially from the sub Sahara region. I desrespect many among us too, the truth be told.
    Kampala reacts to Irish jibe on blacks

    Thursday, June 21 2012
    In Summary

    Mr Poots’s remark, whereas not directly linked, dovetails with a barrage of condescending proclamations bubbling out from the West and Asia about Africa, particularly the black race, in the past few weeks.


    Days after Northern Ireland’s Health Minister, Mr Edwin Poots, effectively banned acceptance of blood donations by Africans, gays and prostitutes as reported by the BBC reported, sparking emotive references to racist slurs among online discussants, authorities here have reacted with dismay.
    Officials in Kampala, while privately expressing disdain over the haughty remarks, said they would not speak on the record because Ireland is one of Uganda’s biggest donors and “their minister did not mention Uganda by name”.

    According to BBC, Mr Poots said he had received two new pieces of research that bolstered his resolve to exclude gays and those engaged in “high-risk sexual behaviour” from donating blood.
    “And so someone who has sex with somebody in Africa or sex with prostitutes, I am very reluctant about those people being able to give blood,” the BBC quoted him as having said on the Sunday Politics programme. He added: “I think that people who engage in high risk sexual behaviour in general should be excluded from giving blood.”

    While pitching for a tough stance during bank bailout negotiations, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy slightly over a week ago told his Finance Minister not to budge, because “Spain is not Uganda.”

    The four-letter phrase, which went viral on the Internet, was understood to cast Uganda as backward/weak, and ready to imbibe all conditions set by the World Bank and IMF in order to access financial rescue from the Bretton Woods institutions.

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    “We’re the number four power in Europe,” Rajoy reportedly noted in a text message that Uganda’s acting Foreign Affairs Minister Oryem-Okello later said smacked of slight and neo-colonial arrogance.

    Separately, Korean Air is embroiled in a public relations and marketing nightmare after referring to Kenyans as people full of “primitive energy” in a message on the airline’s website, ironically announcing the launch of non-stop flights from Korea to the East African country.

    Meanwhile, Ms Barbara Espinosa, radio host of Arizona’s “Hair on Fire” programme, reportedly on Monday called President Barack Obama, fathered by a Kenyan, as America’s “first monkey president.”


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