There was going to be a session of Parliament of Religions in Melbourne Australia from 3-9th December 2009. Being an atheist,I had a desire to attend and that meant paying for registration and hotel accommodation before the organizers could send me the invitation that I can use to support my visa application at the Australian High Commission in Nairobi Kenya.(For your knowlegde, "High Commission" refers to all foreign missions in Commonwealth group and if a nation is not a member of that group,then it's foreign missions in a given Country is referred to as the "Embassy") So Uganda and Australia are both members of Commonwealth.Then why should i need a visa travel there? Why should a Ugandan need a viss to enroute through London and only stopping at airport? What are the benefits of Commonwealth? Who are the benefieceries? The list of Questions is endless.
Am a poor,oppressed guy in Kampala as a result of my stand against organized religions, state sponsored homophobia and many issues that the society think are un-debatable, I and my friend who is also poor like me thought that it could be great if we try to secure a visa to Australia and thereafter seek asylum. My friend who I will call MA in this post skeptically with less confidence offered me the only money that he had saved for a very long time. We calculated the idea and our nerves and minds confirmed that I will get a visa simply because,i have seen many people,who are like me using the same procedure and they get the sticker in their travel document.
The requirements of securing a visa to another Country by an African are harder and almost the same across all diplomatic missions in Africa. Securing a visa from US and EU diplomatic missions in Africa, it’s like thinking of becoming the photocopy of the internet entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth, the first African to tour space after paying 25 million dollars to Space Adventures, Ltd in April 2002.The chances of this this to come true are slim.
This was going to be almost my sixth time attempting to seek a visa. The first attempts failed and I was determined to be prepared this time not to face another disappointment. I tried seeking whatever it takes to meeting the requirements and as poor as am, this meant spending more money on things that you don't know where its going to be of great importance but in the same way, you hate to receive a no from the so called world governors (read western democracies) of this planet. So I choose to inject the money. If you live in Kampala and you have tried seeking visas from a poor back-ground foundation,you know what am talking about.
Having paid my three figure amount of money to the organizers of the Parliament of religions summit, they sent the confirmations to me. I collected the application from the immigrations website, filled them, secured the appointment in Nairobi, I set my day of departure from Kampala on 15th November 2009 and it was going to take 10 full workings days to know my fate.
I boarded the bus in Kampala at 2:30pm; I took pictures because I borrowed a camera from a friend. I was very worried about the accidents. I last traveled to Nairobi in 2007,the road was very bad, deep gravely potholes that could easily torn into pieces your spinal code, I was really anxious not knowing what will happen on addition of the tougher bandits on the way. When we arrived in Jinja, my senses came to its normal position because the road in this area was good and it gave me confidence it might had been repaired now and I had no reason to worry.
I sat on Seat Number 6 together with a chatty well behaving Ugandan called Joseph Mugerwa whose ancestral home is Kinoni in Masaka, currently a businessman dealing in garments and Stationery, being a Muganda, I automatically knew that Mugerwa was belonging to a Monkey clan and according to our customs and beliefs, those who belong there have a very special place within the Monarchy administration. Read about Buganda Kingdom if you want to know more.
Also on seat number four, there was an Asian mostly likely to be from Pakistan. I said hello to him, and gave him my camera to take a picture of me. The driver was a strong built-in guy, very brown and resembled Somalis so much, he played loud music in the bus and smoked a lot, but also he looked to be kind and generous. The music was so loud to the deafening sound and he could not hear any complain but again, his passengers seemed used to him and felt okay with it. almost smoke two packets of Cigarettes from Kampala to Nairobi.
The journey was full of roadblocks almost every 30 minutes and they get us off and on to do their security. This was very tiresome. We talked a lot with Mugerwa from politics to religions to women, and I agree I liked him and his views, he was a strong liberal catholic but no longer going to church, I was alarmed when he told me he has more than five women and had had babies from women of all walks of life and that he thinks to make more babies and he also felt sad for me for not being married and not having kids.
This is another problem am facing in Uganda, people demanding me kids even when it’s clearly in the glass that Uganda and the entire planet cannot support the high populations, its only a few people who can know this. About 6,800,000,000 humans currently inhabit this planet, increasing at 142 per minute, therefore its being idiot of me to add more babies when I know the risk and problems we are going to face in less than 20 years. Every year about 75,000,000 new humans compete for space, food and water, mostly in unhealthy, overcrowded, polluted cities. This human increase is mirrored by a corresponding decrease in other living organisms,65 species of which become extinct every day, seriously undermining the ability of nature to sustain us. Water is becoming scarce and food too expensive for increasing numbers of people as demand outstrips supply.
Every day, hectares of forest are cleared, land becomes desert, and 70 million tones of CO2 are released into the atmosphere to cope with the increasing affluence and effluence of burgeoning populations. Everyone is nervous about impending catastrophe, but governments and the organized religions are not addressing the primary cause of the problem, overpopulation. Why? Because they need to curry favour with religious power-brokers in exchange for political support. I will not be part of this. I want a free and safer world with more pleasant air to breath in for all living creatures.
Mugerwa expressed his concerns for the Asian and many Ugandans felt insecure because of him on the bus. I think you know why! (Because most of the people from that side of the planet are Moslems and this qualifies them to be terrorists)
We arrived at the Busia Uganda border at 7:05 PM and it was raining, so we took like 20 minutes without alighting off the bus, it was so heavy but given the long lines of people on the immigrations waiting exits stamps and approval, we forced our way out of the bus through the rain and then into the packed immigrations office, I didn't have time and chance to take a picture even though I really admired it.
I didn't have a pen to fill the departure forms, so I begged a lady whom I cannot recall who responded positively. This is the same thing that happened to Kenya side after walking through the No man's land in rain, it took me 40 minutes to pass-through of this, apparently the operators of the bus I used told us to be as quick as we can that they may be leaving Busia at 7;30pm. to Nairobi .Look for my next edition of this journey.