The Weganda Review’s fourth issue (April June 2024) has been published in print and online, with essays on Kenya’s disputatious leader, the political rise of the Ugandan president’s brother, the ‘madness’ of Nairobi, broken things in Uganda, and African hair. This issue includes the diary of a young grocery clerk who works in a supermarket outside Kampala. Featured poetry is by Chioniso Tsikisayi, Ber Anena, Ssebo Lule, and Mugabi Byenkya. There’s fiction by Rodney Muhumuza and Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto. Art portfolios belong to George W. Kyeyune and R. Canon Griffin. The Quote of the Quarter is extracted from The Sea by John Banville. This is not a themed issue; the general drift is memory

The Weganda Review’s fifth issue (July – Sept. 2024) has been published in print and online, with essays on Rwanda three decades after the genocide, Jacob Zuma, personal guilt, food as resistance, and the politics of conservation in Uganda. This issue includes the diary of a young waitress who works in a café just outside Kampala. Featured poetry is by Yarri Kamara, Michael Imossan, Musiime Michelle Tumwesigye, and Lillian Akampurira Aujo. There’s fiction by Sanni Omodolapo. Art portfolios belong to the painter Leonard Kateete and the ceramist Bruno Sserunkuuma. The Quote of the Quarter is extracted from All for Nothing by Walter Kempowski. This is not a themed issue; the general drift is second chances.

Diary of the Review

Weganda Precis: From the Archives

by Adventino Banjwa
“In Uganda public usage of social media platforms for political engagement has varied over time. We have particularly been exposed to social media as a tool through which it is possible to “disturb the peace” of our comfortable rulers, especially with vulgar speech as in the radical rudeness of Stella Nyanzi and Kakwenza Rukirabashaija. Those two have succeeded by creating a very personal discomfort in their targets. Yet their approach also made it easier for their targets to respond with a certain kind of violence. Nyanzi was in and out of jail; Rukirabashaija was badly tortured. In the end, both were de-rooted from their political community and forced into exile. Still, until the online exhibitions started, we were yet to imagine social media as a new kind of public square, around which people can organize and protest by displaying what’s diseased in our postcolonial reality.”
by Kwezi Tabaro
“In death Nyerere’s halo has continued to grow, and there have been no damaging revelations about him … His Chama Cha Mapinduzi party remains on the same course he set for it: the smooth transition of power within the ruling party, for as long as possible, so that even when John Magufuli died unexpectedly in office, his deputy Samia Suluhu was inaugurated without incident in 2021 as Tanzania’s first female president. Thus, in a narrow political sense, Nyerere has had enough followers to cement his legacy at home. What’s in doubt is his relevance for Africans elsewhere, among leaders like Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni who may praise Nyerere while having little use for Nyerereism.”
by Gerald Bareebe
“Inevitably, as was the case under [Idi] Amin and even Milton Obote, Ugandans are increasingly concerned by what they consider a slide toward full-blown military authoritarianism, by a palpable fear of what happens next. The scale of abuses has intensified with the rise of Bobi Wine. Some of his supporters have been picked from their homes at night by security agents who shove their victims into vans that Ugandans have described, terrifyingly, as “drones,” apparently because of the speed with which they are driven away from crime scenes. Some of those released from detention tell harrowing stories: fingernails torn out, bodies burned with hot metal, and other abuses too violent to mention here … [T]hese cruel acts of torture reveal current truths about the Museveni regime, show the government as it is. These are the political remains of the NRM, as raw and bitter as a poisonous plant.”
by Charles Onyango-Obbo
“On the drive to and from Agoro, it’s striking how there are no visible scars of these war horrors either on the faces of the people or the towns and settlements in which they live. There is thriving trade in the towns. There are many new buildings rising up. All along the highway there are passable primary schools, with some elegant private ones. These are fertile lands, as they have always been, and they were spotted with lush fields. The disfigurement and pain are below the surface. A local council leader from the area we met, later in Gulu, told us that Acholiland is battling an epidemic of deadly domestic violence. Men beating women. Women beating men. Alcoholism is rampant.”
by Marlon Agaba
“As the leader of an anti-corruption watchdog in Uganda, I am no longer surprised by what I discover in the course of my work. Corruption is everywhere, whether it is powered by need or by greed. The traffic officer who uses his uniform to extract some money from errant motorists instead of issuing tickets. The motorists who know that they will be required to pay a policeman for offenses they are yet to commit, and thus keep pocket change nearby, to be slipped into the conniving officer’s hand without being prompted.”