Uganda: Are you ready for CHOGM?

Ugandan bloggers gear up for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, worry about the latest developments in the north and keep tabs on their favorite reality television star.

Are you ready for CHOGM?

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, known in Uganda as CHOGM (“cho-gum”), is just around the corner. Joshua Goldstein mentioned CHOGM on Global Voices earlier this year.

The blogren are taking a largely skeptical view of Uganda's readiness for the massive international conference, scheduled to begin November 23. “I went to Kampala a few days ago,” writes Minzo at Minega Strikes Back. “[G]reat city but if you actually believe they are ready for CHOGM I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd like to sell to you.”

Kelly of Kelly's Uganda Journal marvels:

Apparently his super-smartness, Inspector General of police, Maj Gen Kale Kayihura decided to have a CHOGM drill yesterday and closed Entebbe road, Ggaba road, and Nile Avenue…. This genius decision making resulted in apparently the worst traffic in the history of Kampala, and let me tell you from personal experience, that is BAD!

CHOGM security preparations have Christopher Mason of Caked in Red Clay troubled:

To boost security ahead of the conference, the government has brought in thousands of forces called “Special Police Constables”, or “SPCs”…. Because the demand on police in and around Kampala was so high for Chogm, the government brought in thousands of these SPCs, gave them some additional training and deployed them at nearly every intersection throughout the city, where they now stand with their fingers on the triggers of their AK-47s.

Over the weekend, two people (one 13-year old girl and a 22-year old man) were shot and killed by SPC officers at a market in the city. There has not yet been an in-depth explanation of just how and why the incident occurred.

“Really, were there campaigns to make ordinary Ugandans know about CHOGM?” wonders The-xposer's Kisiki:

I talked to the women [in Lulongo Village, 100km from Kampala] and they poured out all their problems ranging from inaccessibility of health services to poverty. The children were smiling but their eyes did not hide pain and dissatisfaction. Curisioty pressured me to ask if they new anything about CHOGM? The answers were summarised to ‘NO.’

And Samsung at look at the world through my eyes Photoshops a Jack Bauer CHOGM inspection:

Jack Bauer doing a CHOGM inspection in Kampala, Uganda

Rebel movements

The past month has seen a sudden shake-up in the Northern Uganda peace process: rebel Lord's Resistance Army second-in-command Vincent Otti is widely rumored to be dead after a falling-out with leader Joseph Kony, even as a team of LRA peace negotiators travels north in an unprecedented visit to ask forgiveness.

“We have been having an absurdly stupid peace process going on,” declares Gay Uganda:

Sometimes it bothers me how cheap life, our lives seem. Relative to the whole large world out there.

Uganda's Scarlett Lion is uncharacteristically mute on the recent developments, instead posting a series of pictures:

Big Brother Blogger
Ugandan Big Brother Africa 2 contestant Maureen Namatovu, the ninth Housemate to be voted off the show, is chronicling her post-show experiences at her new blog, Maureen Blah Blah Blah. Already she's invited readers to a Fans Party in Kampala.

African Loft weighs in on Maureen's popularity in her home country:

Morality aside, Maureen had not been as exciting as Ugandans had wanted. Gaetano Kaggwa [Uganda's Big Brother 1 contestant] was all talkative, nagging, sexy, romantic, full of drama and always kept the Big Brother I at its feet. The Maureen character this time however was the opposite of people’s expectations.

Maureen Namatovu being history now, who’s taking the money?


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