Outspoken President advisor on media matters, Tamale Mirundi, has expressed his disappointment with Ugandan stakeholders as far as national development is concerned.
Mirundi was angered by the Sunday launch of the Kampala Rolex Festival as a national event reportedly aimed at boosting tourism.
While launching it last week, State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi described a Rolex as a top traditionally delicacy of Ugandan origin, that started as roadside snack compromising of eggs and a chapatti.
Recently, the Rolex made news when CNN featured a story about it as the fastest growing fast food in Africa.
Appearing on “NBS TV Extra” programme Tuesday, Mirundi wondered how Ugandans can praise themselves for making a chapatti.
“How can you praise your religion for simply making a chapatti? What if you won a world cup?”
Mirundi said in Buganda, they eat matooke and meat not rolex.
“Other countries are going to the moon, you are talking about rolex?” Mirundi queried.
He continued: “Other people are going to the moon, you are praising yourselves because of ‘rolex’. How many tonnes of rolex have been exported out of Uganda? Can we also add rolex to AGOA [The African Growth and Opportunity Act]?”
In the same light, lawyer, Human rights activist, Sarah Bireete, wondered whether a rolex was President Yoweri Museveni’s biggest achievement in his first 100 days in office.
“1st 100 days #KisanjaHakunaMchezo achieved #Rolex Launch.Will this take #ThePeople into Midro class Income?” Bireete cynically tweeted as the rolex festival got underway at Uganda National Museum in Kamowkya last Sunday.
Addressing a group of students from 10 countries currently enrolled at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on Saturday, Museveni said the transformation of Africa is finally taking place.
“Ten years ago, the purchasing power of Africa was US$500 billion while that of the USA was US$12 trillion but now the purchasing power of Africa is US$8 trillion and in 2035 it will be more than that of USA.”
The same government that believes Africa will overtake US in 20 years is busy launching roadside snacks as a tourism asset.
According to government, rolex has created employment opportunities for youth who are involved in building and operating Rolex stalls, cooking it, charcoal business, supply of ingredients and to farmers who produce eggs, tomatoes, onions, green paper and cabbages.
It also provides business to companies that produce cooking oil, baking flour, salt and packaging materials.
Government seeks to attract more youth to get involved as suppliers, stall operators, Rolex chiefs ad customers.
“The ministry of tourism, wildfire and antiquities is endorsing Rolex as a proudly Ugandan product that is also enjoyed by tourists,” said minister Kiwanda.