We had a slight discussion over lunch with my friend Emma on Ugandans and service delivery that eventually catapulted into a week of rants and insults at loathsome businesses but we’ll stick to the discussion; we didn’t actually mention the government in the approximately two hour discussion – which is surprising, right?
I and Emma take an hour or so having lunch, we spend ten minutes of that hour doing the actual eating and the rest of the time filtering through the poor service delivery the restaurant subjects us to. Our restaurant isn’t really a big entity to speak of; it hosts about 65 people at meal time who float in co-currently in tens every passing minute.
The chips normally run out and the caterer has to halt the serving process to cook, else you opt for another meal. Now for a restaurant that has been in business for two years, hiring an extra staff to keep up or prior preparation to match the demand would not sound hard head hitting business or is it? –Ugandan businesses don’t care about the service, it’s the customer!
After the troubling efforts to eat lunch or supper we normally walk another twenty minutes back to our hostel room. It is not that our hostel has no food for lunch but the restaurant there is nothing worth mentioning in the realms of service delivery, their food is –you will excuse the language here- crappy, it comes four hours after you’ve ordered and its pocket scorching.
We are actively involved in pointing fingers at government for its poor service delivery; we forget so fast the society we live in, ours is hair rising! A taxi will take two hours to get you from Bukoto to Kampala, a journey Google maps estimates at 6.1 kilometers of distance and 12 minutes in time. The taxi also makes occasional stops at stages to scream at unbothered passer-by strangers as you grumble in its dirty couches with sharp metal pointedly out, its fare, 1000, 1500 or even 1800 Uganda shillings, depending on the mood of the taxi tout.
And the retail shops!! (a minute to breathe) you walk up to a shop, after standing outside for ages to call the shop owner, she/he will come out with soap-soaked hands placing plastic bags of doughnuts in the wheat sacks at the dusty front and with no shame ask what you want, then when the sale is complete, they will stand you up another fifteen minutes looking for ‘change’.
The average Ugandan will lose close to an hour of his time in a day putting up with poor service delivery. If we point a finger at the government perhaps, its right what they say, the four are right back at us. It’s about time people mind the service they offer!