By Asuman Odaka
In many occasions, i have been watching and reading how spokespersons of our security forces are mixing politics into their work especially speaking things contrary to what the public knows as true, I’m worried.
My problem with this mentality. I insisted that there might come a moment when government could be speaking the truth and needs to be believed. But because of their bad reputation, the public won’t believe them seriously. And because they will be very desperate to be believed, they could resort to violence which would lead to other upheavals including possibly a civil unrest in our country.
I insisted on this many times as if to predict the COVID-19 moment. This moment has not only proven me right; it has deeply exposed our systems as broken and near dysfunctional, it has exposed us as leadership is panicky, uncaring and inconsiderate to the reality into which people live, it has exposed our policy enforcers as prone to gross mistakes and unreasonable especially when subjected to particular level of stress, disapproved our state methods as crooked and defective. It further proved some of us who were against total privatisation right.
I applaud the President’s effort to save Ugandans from the deadly virus. But if all his directives are not aided with real practical efforts to provide items that can save Ugandans from hunger, not even the actions of the irate LDUs will be a deterrent.
I also think it was outrageous for the President to make a directive relating to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
How can that even be conceived in a country whose system we all know, whose healthcare is broken, whose ambulance system is this shabby and whose emergency response is near absent. In this situations, didn’t the advisors tell him this talk would sound like death sentence to the citizens?
Instead, the directives seemed filled with political connotations and object of finishing any descent.
The president’s directives have left Ugandans to choose between dying of hunger in their houses, catching coronavirus or the bullets, and or canes by the enforcers of his directives. And the choice may not be of dying of hunger. It’s going to make Ugandans more hold and courageous especially in this obvious choice of how to die.
I think the President needed to be more concrete on supplying food, providing free UMEME, water among other necessities. How can countries which buy UMEME from us give their citizens power for free and we, the owners first have to consult?.
Government seems more scared of losing revenue without recognising that moment like this is not for making money but making sacrifices.
Now that government has stopped all its workers except the essential ones, why the funds allocated to them can’t be reallocated for humanitarian missions to save the lives of Ugandans already dying of hunger.
If rescue is not felt, we might be heading towards a situation where people might confront their government even when they appreciate what the government is telling them as the truth, after all either choices will lead to death. The difference will be when!
Secondly, this is also an opportunity for this government to change people’s perception towards it because its past record is that it’s uncaring to the plight of its citizens.
The opportunity for government to be looked at differently could be the benefit of Coronavirus.
For now, adhere to all WHO and Ministry of Health guidelines.
The writer is an aspiring MP [next Elections)
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