EDITORIAL: When mercenaries beat patriots to the tape, there is need to worry

The dust has finally settled after the 25th liberation anniversary celebrations that signed off with yet another memorable military parade that was flavoured by clockwork synchronisation akin to the Chinese.

The only disruptions were the blocked roads and diversions that should remind city authorities to speed up the road expansions and bypasses as the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting is just around the corner.

Our narrow roads is also a sad reminder of how narrow-minded previous administrations were, it was as if the single-lane era would be there for eternity.

But let’s put aside our worries of movement in Kigali when we have VIPs around; for the past week, it has been all about football and a teenage tennis sensation. 15-year-old Coco Gauff has taken the world by storm by first eliminating the mighty Serena Williams in the first round of Wimbledon and has now progressed to the fourth round.

There were no similar fairy tales for east African teams at the ongoing Afcon football showpiece. By the time of going to press, the region’s only remaining representatives, Uganda, were struggling to hold off Senegal to avoid going home early.

As usual the perennial issue of bonuses dominated the news with players holding their countries hostage until they got their money. It was an indication of two major flaws; poor show of patriotism and shady football administrators.

For those fresh from celebrating the bravery and sacrifices of our young people who liberated this country and stopped the Genocide against the Tutsi, it was a surprise when the Ugandan team downed their tools until they were paid their dues. The standoff did not last long, they were paid and off to the field they returned.

The questions that linger on the mind are; why do African teams have to go on strike before they are paid their promised bonuses? To represent one’s country is a privilege, not mercenary work that unfortunately it is turning out to be.