The interesting case of Hon Abiriga reminds me of a very similar case of a London African pastor.
I was told by one of my aunties who has lived in this country for years, and seen it all. This pastor was on one of his pastoral visits, and somehow got ‘lost’ in the neighbourhood he was headed to.
He got confused by the address to the house he was visiting. So, he ended up moving around in circles; up and down the residential streets. You know London houses and streets can be quite confusing because they are uniform and similar in nature.
Unknown to him, his up and down movements had attracted the attention of one of those old pensioners who sit by their windows to watch over the street.
Every London neighbourhood has them. Usually, there is an old stay-at-home lonely mzungu grandma, who from her window spot, knows who lives in which house, who leaves early for work and who has visitors late in the night.
Naturally, she is also on the lookout for strangers to the neighbourhood, and is not afraid to call the police when she spots suspicious activity.
Now, if the pastor’s hesitant up and down movement was not suspicious enough, then his constant stopping and looking around while at it, was more than enough reason for the old woman to call the police.
Lucky for the pastor, the police caught up with him just as he was doing up his zipper and turning away from emptying his bladder against a ka back wall. The London cold has that effect of making one want to ease themselves every so often.
I say lucky because much as urinating in public is seen as unbecoming behaviour, a recent UK court ruling saw no problem with it if no one sees you doing it. In other words, there is no specific law in this country against urinating in public.
We could assume that the powers that be, in their wisdom, see urinating in public as an emergency act for which the perpetrator should not be punished. When you have to go, you have to go.
By handling his business, discreetly away from the prying eyes of any passers-by, old mzungu woman inclusive, the pastor dodged being charged with indecent exposure. Instead, the police were quite helpful in assisting him locate the house he had been looking for.
And therein lay pastor’s testimony and sermon for that Sunday!
This brings us back to Abiriga’s case. The photos which made rounds on the Internet showed a man handling an emergency problem in a very discreet manner, with a police guard and all.
In no way can it be argued that the honourable exposed himself on that fence with the intention of causing harm, alarm or distress to the public. (Okay, it’s a yes for ‘shame’).
And the pictures show him swinging his thing around or swaying his hands while at it. Still, they got the man on being a public nuisance.
I say Abiriga’s recent court woes have nothing to do with urinating on that poor ‘finance fence’, but everything with the bright ‘eye-hurting’ yellow attire he was adorned in on that day, and our lack of faith in God as a nation.
‘Oh ye, of little faith’...