The Express Song

Broadcast live on your screens
Away from tea gas
Inhaled on our behalf
By Journalists and citizens,
Professors clamour
Claiming deprived salaries .

On our screens we view
Fist fights on Parliament Floors
And we ask Will our Democracy Grow?
We ought to know
This is not a permanent flaw
When words flow
We Only avoid blows
If we respect that by law
The high and the low
Both have a right to speak
And be heard.

Freedom to speak at the peak
To pick opinions
like rings of onions
on top of Pizza
Because even bizarre
Opinions deserve expression

Observe
The crowds at news stands
Savoring a chance reading,
They stand,
Hands held back
Like they were told
“Togikwatako”
What if they were so touched
By what they read
So much that they ached
With an itch for accountability
Because their leaders at the municipality
Are not at parity with civility;
Abiriga should not pee on streets
Offices should not be sleeping suits to civil Servants.
Taxis can be sleeping suits
To exhausted Ugandans counting successes
Of three decades of Power
In my taxi
A woman sleeps
Mouth open like her tongue froze as she said aahh
She is an abyss
Resounding with sonorous snores
“Free Press”
“Free Press”

Indeed some Jewels are rare
Like Joel,
And if your tongue rolls to the music of Bantu syllables,
Yoweri;
Somehow,
Uganda boasts of a semblance
Of Free Press
She has not lost face
As some states
With no façade of media.

Media is a fat bellied tea pot
Brewed for you to imbibe;
If your cup is full of reports
of poor service delivery
At the dispensary
You may empty your dissent
At a demonstration

If your cup brims with promise
Imbedded in such headlines as
“Age limit Bill dismissed”
“Computer misuse act annulled”
You may tip your cap at URA
And comply eagerly with the collectors of our cents.

Uganda’s contradictions though
Are ragged and unkempt
Like the Afro- hair of her people,
She boasts of a progressively worded Constitution
And cries of perpetual poor execution;
She preaches freedom of expression
Yet bearers of dissenting views
Are gagged and prosecuted.

Link to the Italian translation

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