It is interesting how events of the past are made alive in the current times. This book is a collection of newspaper articles by the author in a space of three years. One thing though is that the events that happened between 2011 and 2014 when they were published have had twin events reoccurring. This reaffirms the adage; the more things change, the more they remain the same.
This is a book of time. It travels through Uganda’s past, the present and the future, one article at a time. Newspaper columnists tend to develop a writing signature overtime. When you have read one for some time, you can easily tell their “handwriting” when you read one. They tend to address themselves to particular themes with a certain tone of voice. Mpanga is not any different. His concern for Ugandans to take part in the affairs of their country is one you cannot miss in the detail of the book. It is on this foundation that he builds the body of the book.
There is an overriding notion that certain things are supposed to be left to those in/with power. As a people we give our leaders a lot of power over us that they equally take it for granted abusing it to the best of their ability.
Like the author argues in the last submission, some things are not political statements, they just require common sense. The rhetoric question which is left implied as you turn the last pages of the book is “What happened to our common sense?”
In between the pages of these ten chapters, your ribs won’t be spared. There are things people do that leave you shaking your head like a goat beaten by rain. Ugandans are capable of doing a lot of things, some you only have to laugh them off.
This book is a great tool for Uganda’s young population. It carries with it the details that are not talked about in the corridors of power. It carries with it the details of what senior journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo termed as Kampala’s poorly kept secrets.
Depending on the type of reader you are, you may miss out on certain details but one which you won’t is the call to action. The author labours to call out all the readers to stop being spectators on the goings-on in the country beginning with the concerns at their door step. The concerns and complexities of our society that were not addressed yesterday continue to oppress us today and if not dealt with, they will be our children’s obstacles tomorrow.
AUTHOR: David F.K. Mpanga
TITLE: The Politics of Common Sense
PUBLISHER: New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited
FRONT COVER PHOTO: Kibuuka Mukasa Oscar