Business, Economics and Jobs

Where the revolution is not


Ugandan policemen patrol on the streets of Kasangati, a suburb of Kampala, to stop a protest by opposition leader Kizza Besigye as he tried to stage a protest against rising prices.


Marc Hofer

Protests over the rising costs of living in East Africa have failed to take root.

In Uganda the fourth "walk-to-work" demonstration to protest the high cost of fuel was nipped in the bud just like the previous three: with a volley of tear gas and the arrest of opposition leader Kizza Besigye, his fourth detention in two weeks.

In Kenya there were protests earlier this week over rising food and fuel prices in a few towns. In Nairobi a hundred or so people marched through the city center with banners chanting slogans decrying the increasing costs of living. Then they all went home.

By contrast, earlier this month thousands answered the call to rally in Nairobi for a so-called “prayer meeting” to welcome home a group of prominent politicians accused of crimes against humanity.

As a BBC report points out, here in East Africa power is emphatically not with the people.