I recently learnt with dismay that the British government had transferred to South Africa the center for granting visas to Ugandans seeking to travel to the United Kingdom! Not long after, with time found it increasingly hard to travel to Britain! I have since wondered why they had to shift the visa center to so far away a destination, oblivious of the fact that stifling British visas to Ugandans would deal a death blow to their once upon a time lucrative air route. Imagine sending your passport to South Africa for a British visa only to end up with that damn irritating stamp of rejection ! To make matters worse, the ill-advised decision came at a time when England has since lost its place among the popular commercial and social destinations of the world including China, USA, the Asian tigers and the Middle East among others. Worse still, it is no longer trendy as it was back then,shopping in Britain after a realization by many Ugandans that buying commodities which can be cheaply gotten from other friendlier countries was a sheer waste of time and resources. In addition, we have learnt from experience that Britain is fast becoming one of the economically miserable countries whose casual labourers (the Nkuba kyeyo’s) are languishing in poverty compared to their counterparts in other emerging and friendlier economies around the world. In a nutshell, it now seems to Ugandans, I suppose, that one is far better off suffering poverty in his own backyard where he or she has relatives and friends within reach, in an environment where folks can still afford a smile!
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