Daily Prompt: Believe

via Daily Prompt: Believe

What Happened To Uganda, The Country We Were All Proud Of?

The early 2000’s to which most of my age-mates and I gain our political knowledge were great times to grow up into.

The economy was stable, the doughnuts and food were cheap and sizable, education was cheap, we attended  public school thanks to a government that loved us, got to pay less than $10 dollars a term for quality education, electricity was cheap and seldom on leave.

We were really the pearl of Africa and there was promise for more glory

There were few cases of nepotism, we trusted our government and didn’t scrutinize government programs even though some sounded dubious, we sat through tiresome census exercises, went willingly for immunization, as far as the people were concerned, the opposition were a bunch of losers.

As kids  we endorsed government programs without actually understanding them-such was the trust we had for our leaders, anyone who critiqued our “Museveni” became an automatic enemy.

Every helicopter that passed in the skies was “Museveni” and we rewarded to the fading airplanes in the airspace’s with the humble yet noble gift of our voices singing “Amba Museveni” a praise and worship song dedicated to our leader that was no where within the acceptable values of entertaining  but we didn’t mind, we sang along out of sheer devotion to our President.

When in mid 2004 word came out that one of those public school we loved so much (Shimoni Demonstration School ) was going to be sold to an investor we rallied behind our president rubbishing the report as false and watched with disinterest as our parents suddenly became increasingly exasperated with the government.

Ours was not a rationale belief in what facts were available but rather a passionate hero worship of a man we had been told brought peace and stability by waging war on dictatorship and even though in the northern part of the country, a deranged general maimed the lips of his own kinsmen while claiming he was fighting to liberate them we held onto hope and believed in our president.

When a young member of parliament from Kampala Central dashed forward amidst criticism and stood by our parents protesting the sell of our beloved Shimoni, I finally came to terms with the fact that the government had sold our school and I had been betrayed as a child.

I grew sympathetic with the Member of parliament and actually liked him, I didn’t think that throughout his entire political existence it would be a fundraising ceremony for sympathy.

More than ten years past, with an ailing economy, a jobless youth that would rather commit crime than work, an abusive police force that that rewards hooliganism and kidnaps children for the crimes of their parents, and a legislature dominated by greedy individuals representing themselves in parliament and the government still celebrates to the victories of the early 2000s, it is then safe to ask what independence are we celebrating?

to be continued

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A worthy Murder

It was 2:00am and she lay in her marital bed, feigning sleep while she waited for him to lose himself into the tunnels of unconsciousness..
When he finally began to snore she rose from her bed, announced his name to his ears to confirm that he was asleep, tied a rope on his feet and made for the drawer where hours ago she had concealed a knife. She had momentary doubt, brushed it away and plunged her sharpest cooking knife deep into his midriff, and twisted, he awoke in the midst of this violence and had the time to attempts to fight back, but she was too strong for him, and sent the seven inch blade further into his chest, seconds later he was lifeless….
She sat back to enjoy the work of her hands and almost smiled at her triumph, to most of the world she was a murderer, she had just killed a man of the people, yet she felt more like a “hero”. Even though they hardly knew it, she had rid the world of a rapist, pedophile, part time smuggler turned murderer and thief…She thought about the headlines the newspapers would run the following day, giggled at the thought of the “Red pepper” headline which she was sure would add a sexual twist to its story, she contemplated taking off his his shorts and giving him a spanking worse than the one he had subjected her to on a daily, often for no reason but had the good sense to resist the temptation in regard for her family members who would be left behind.
At 3:00 am after cleaning up, having an early breakfast, she called the police and reported her crime but she had never intended to be found alive..

The Politics Behind the Sextapes

Cindy, Desire Luzinda, Anita Fabiola, Judith Heard, Jack Pemba and Lillian Rukundo all have one thing in common; they have all at some point in their lives had their nude photos or sex tapes released to the public either voluntarily or without their knowledge, with the latter being the latest victim.

The public for it’s part has enjoyed, having nude photos of these celebrities come to the light of day, in fact a number of people have had their share of fun while these nude photos made rounds, thousands of numbers have been shared on facebook in response to posts like “I just got Fabiola’s nudes, comment with your number so that I can share with you, and true to their word, the users that shared the post have invested their time and mobile data into honoring their pledge.

The custodians of the law often bashed for their inability to solve crime have in almost all these six cases rushed to the aid of the good morally upright people of Uganda; threatened whoever circulated these devilish things, made promises, invited the people whose nudes have been leaked to answer to them, promised a thorough investigation and after a few weeks forgotten all about it and we moved on.

Well, until this Monday when Rukundo was arraigned before court and plead guilty to computer misuse and the broadcast of pornographic material, while she awaits sentencing later today

As a seemingly obedient law abiding citizen whose only crime to date has been breaking a neighbor’s pipe, I have to admit I was proud, the law had just worked.

My pride however vanished after an hour as I recollected my thoughts to the previous cases involving the violation of the Computer Misuse act, that’s how Fabiola, Cindy, Pemba and Judith Heard came into mind, besides having had their nudes leaked or even allegedly leaking them, this cast of individuals also share a sort of celebrity status in Uganda.

Fabiola is a popular TV host, Cindy is a dance hall artiste , Pemba is a city Tycoon known to live beyond middle income status while Judith Heard is a socialite. Impressive right??
On the other hand Rukundo, 23 is a not as popular as the aforementioned group, she’s a student of Mass Communication at Uganda Christian University, trying to gain a foothold in education and maybe become a celebrity on our airwaves or newspapers one-day.

Mine is not to glorify her or cast her as a victim and seek sympathy on her behalf, I agree that what she did was wrong, bad, criminal and all other negative superlatives my vocabulary will allow me but mine is a cry for equality of all before the law, our constitution clearly states in Article 21 that

(1) All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.

So how come these celebrities were above the law?

In early 2016 Justine Kasule Lumumba, the Secretary General of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) was quoted to have veiled a threat intended to intimidate would be protesters of election results and said “ The state will kill your children if they come to disorganise and distabilize the peace and security in Kampala and Wakiso. Yet she was never summoned to answer for her comments that clearly were meant to intimidate Ugandans and justify any would, but we’ve seem people arrested for less, heard news of songs that have no lyric promoting violence being banned, this has reinforced the view that if you’re in the government or popular you can get away with almost anything.

It is clear that a trend has been set by the custodians of the law with the inscription from George Orwell’s Animal Farm that “Some animals are more equal than others” but like in the mentioned classic, this notion is always disastrous.

We need to learn to treat all cases with equal fairness, that gives credibility to authorities but in this case am forced into believing that Rukundo’s arraignment in court was not meant to curb a vice but to set an example and give relevance to the narrative that police Is doing it’s job and what better way to do it than to pick on an infamous citizen and subject them to the strict and in my opinion discriminative hand of the law.

No Second Chance

The drugs taste bitter with every passing day,
It’s been 3 months, 12 days and two hours,
Since I walked into that clinic,
the doctor was an amateur, at best,
he was in the wrong profession.
He had knack for the performing arts,
Full of suspense, If not drama and Comedy.

It must have taken him fifteen minutes;
In that time, credit to him, I had learnt about:
The cost of cabbages, tomatoes and lettuce.
He seemed to be more scared than I was.
I could tell that he wasn’t used to being,
the bearer of life changing news.
But all the same he broke the news.
I was sick. I would be for the rest of my life.

I no longer cover myself when I sleep at night,
I would rather face the cold than,
Deal with the stench of my medicine flavored sweat.

Sometimes I want to opt out of it and say;
To hell with the drugs, they weaken me,
It would be easier to just wait,
for the day when I’ll be no more
I was never one for em pills,
Injections always floated my boat,
the doctors say there are no injections
for this stuff, he says the only way is,
to swallow pills, swallow them consistently,
So I guess am pretty much doomed.

I don’t even know who gave it to me,
Could’ve been Tracy, Carol, Lillian, Sarah,
Or maybe even Hannah, I can’t be sure.
I’ve had my generous share of women.
I don’t even know how long I’ve had it,
doctor thinks it would be advisable;
to meet up with bae, talk about my status,
And craft a way forward, sounds easy,
he’s not the one in 4 relationships.

I haven’t told anyone yet, no one suspects,
I’ve done quite the job; hiding my medicine,
Last time I was at the hospital,
Doctor advised that I come out to my kin,
He says I could do with the support,
Am scared though, they might not treat me the same.

Some nights am scared I might die in my sleep,
Other nights I think it’s not fear but regret,
Commiserations for a life not well lived,
maybe I should have abstained, been faithful,
and all that stuff they taught in Primary school.
I wish scientists would find a cure asap,
But it’s too late, for me though,
but it doesn’t have to be for any other person,
Learn from me, let me be that testimony you make at at a conference so it’s not you or any of your kin,
Uganda is the pearl of Africa, Kaguta is still president,
God is real and so is HIV/AIDs, and it’s incurable,
There’s no second chance here.

Your’s Inspired

We sat on plastic chairs, each one to his beer, he stared at the revelers in disinterest, not criticizing but not pleased with what he saw, I stared into my phone, fidgeting swiping at anything I could get my hands on, I was happy to seat next to him, may just one percent of his intelligence would rub off on me,
I said “Hi”. He greeted me back, polite but absentmindedly.
He seemed to be next to me yet far away, lost in thought, it was getting late and he seemed to be in no particular hurry to down his bottle of Guinness while I sat impatiently waiting to speak to D who had gone to fetch a beer.

She returned in a few minutes, took my seat while I had my parting shots. Goodbye D, goodbye namesake, take care, stay intelligent, stay wise, while I retreat to go and work on my own skills as a journo, till that day when I won’t have to introduce myself.
Yours inspired.

R.

Betrayal..

He returned home smiling every other day,
Tired from his daily endeavors,
Yet never too exhausted to smile for them,
Or indulge in the cheer evoking tickling games.
They were many, eight of them,
With three different loving mothers,
Yet he had a special way with each child,
always made them feel special and loved….

She was his first child, they has a special bond,
she got to be loved before anyone else
and she grew up loved, a love she reciprocated,
Always strived to make her dad proud.
From kindergarten to secondary.
She excelled;
Got admitted to Law school on merit,

He was proud, scanned and framed her admission letter,
Hanged it in the center of the living room,
Where it could be seen even from outside…
His daughter was headed to Makerere;
School of Ngugi, Nyerere and Kibaki,
She was almost ready…..

She left home for the first time, university bound,
she met a boy; handsome, intelligent , funny and tall…
Like her father, he adored her,
unlike her father, he was Christian.
Together, they built castles in the sand,
Forever she envisioned it would be.

Then one day she got a phone call,
Home called, excited she arrived,
A seemingly new Range Rovers sport,
Graced her father’s modest compound,
Dad had bought a car, she smiled.
Not for long, reality struck.
He couldn’t have, He couldn’t afford it.

Curious and excited, she entered.
Knelt down like the she’d been taught,
greeted her father and his guest,
Watched her parent heap praises on her:
“we raised her well” he said, to her content,
Also to the approval of his guest.

She left, the kitchen beckoned,
It was almost lunch,
She helped fix it, then it was all done,
she was asked to stay.

With an air of importance, she sat down,
This was yet another of her father’s,
habitual attempts at showing off her off, she thought.
She would play along as always,
Maybe even throw in her contract law knowledge:
“Carlill versus Carbolic Smoke Ball Company”
would sound impressive, she thought.
She would give them quite the show.

But she was in for a shock this time.

Her father cleared his throat, wore his best smile,
And introduced her to her husband,
Her introduction, was due in a week’s time,
And so was her wedding, a day later.

At the ripe legal age of eighteen,
before she could part ways with
Her very first year at University,
She was given off to an ugly, bald aging man,
Twice her senior, her father’s agemate,
To become his latest wife, his fourth,
Arguably not his last.

She cried that night, dried her own tears,
mourned the death of a father,
she once loved, cursed the ungrateful man,
She’d always sought to make proud,
thought about running away,
Didn’t know where she would go,
Tried all the same, keys were hidden,
Resigned herself to the road to marriage.