Uganda Sasa — Uganda Now — is a blog about Uganda by Ugandans who look at their country and say there’s a story here that needs telling. It’s a good story, one of which Ugandans can justly be proud without for a moment denying that our country is still a long way from where we want it to be. But the thing is, it’s our story, no one else’s, and we need to do a better job of telling it both to each other and the wider world.
Too often, we leave the telling to outsiders who, however well-meaning, see us through lenses tinted by their own prejudices, world views and agendas. In the global forum, their voices tend to be a lot louder than ours.
And then our narrative gets tangled up in the healthily fierce give and take of our own democratic conversation. Opposition voices, loud, querulous and persistent, are the very stuff of democracy. So is a critical media that afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted.
At election time, it is the duty of those competing for office to challenge the status quo — to say where they think the incumbents are failing and explain how they would do better. And it is entirely fair and natural to expect the media to cover what the candidates are saying about each others’ platforms, records and fitness to govern. Nor should we complain if different media houses have their own preferences and allegiances.
But we do need to mindful that the Uganda that emerges through the fog of heated partisan rivalry and robust free expression can all too easily be a misleading caricature of the real thing. We need to be able to look through the rhetoric and peel away the stereotypes and agendas and help both ourselves as Ugandans and the wider world see us clearly and in proper context.
That is what we will be aiming to do with Uganda Sasa.