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Letters

Your mail: Was Makerere University closure based on rumours?

In her acrimonious resignation letter, former Kampala Capital City Authority deputy executive director Judith Tuhakirwa Tumusiime stated that it was disconcerting for any city administrator to deal with decisions made on the premise of rumour and conjecture on account of the politics of the day.

One then wonders whether President Museveni’s decision to close Makerere University was informed by conjecture and rumours from his many security insiders.

I cannot help but think of the irreparable damage and inconvenience that has been meted out on students, staff, Mulago hospital and its patients, the economy, the university’s reputation, and our country’s standing.

I am not trying to gainsay the president’s directive but I think the decision was erroneous and I sympathize with the students for being victims of circumstances.

From the various committees and commissions about Makerere, it has been stated that the university’s problems are largely external rather than internal. Ironically, the situation in which Makerere finds itself has not befallen it because it could not find the Shs 32 billion to clear lecturers’ arrears, but because it has always failed the political power-game examination.

Second, conflict has persisted because the university and President Museveni’s government both target incompatible goals in their pursuit to control academic space, money, property and prestige. One lectures students on democratic transfer of power, another practices rule for life.

Was President Museveni’s decision the only possible remedy?

What about if we gave an opportunity to education minister Janet Museveni, an alumna of Makerere University, to showcase her conflict resolution and mediation skills or, better still, parliament?

By doing this, we would be building institutions. Over 80 per cent of students at Makerere are privately-sponsored. In a country with boiling unemployment, you do not send hungry students home for early Christmas to join PLE pupils and street vendors now in trenches.

By closing Makerere, we have jeopardized its motto of building for the future and subsequently hurt not the ivory tower, but the core of society at large.

George Ntambaazi,
Makerere University alumnus.


Divert resources to curb famine

I have no respect for any person who, instead of buying food for his family, confidently resorts to spending funds on internet bundles, luxurious night-outs and other junky stuff!

People are dying in hospitals because of less drugs in the rotting medical facilities and, surprisingly, the government is spending billions of money on legislators’ Ipads, luxurious cars as the rest is swindled in corruption scams.

This is sad as common people are now eating leaves as if they were animals. The issue of climate change is before us and this has resulted in famine and drought; and what has the disaster preparedness ministry done? Giving out three kilograms of maize flour and beans, which is not enough to see people through this problem.

Some of the funds should be invested in agricultural research and teaching the poor to store food in granaries to prepare for this predicament in future.

Peterson Iglesias,
Mexico.


We need fewer guns in circulation

I was happy when I saw over 6,000 small arms and weapons going up in smoke in a bonfire at Bukasa police shooting range in Bweyogerere recently. After all, the fewer guns in circulation, the better.

For a country like Uganda that prides itself in achieving peace and stability, the destruction of these illegal firearms was necessary, especially in the wake of the tragic death of Kenneth Akena, who was allegedly shot by Matthew Kanyamunyu on November 12.

Currently, the Uganda Police Force are introducing the Firearms Ammunitions and Related Materials Bill to replace the Firearms Act, 1970. One of the recommendations in this new bill is that the minimum age one can legally own a gun should go up to 25 or 30 years.

Another is rigorous vetting and examination of the mental state of a potential buyer of a firearm, including tighter monitoring on points of purchase and shipping. This is a good proposal as it will help weed out teenagers or young adults who have a tendency to show off and use pistols as a status symbol.

Recently, on NBS’ Frontline programme, the state minister for internal affairs, Obiga Kania, revealed there are 3,000 licensed guns in private hands.

I think guns should only be in the hands of the army, police and security operatives, not civilians. The saying ‘Live by the sword, die by the sword’ inspired by Matthew 26:52 can apply to guns as well, especially to trigger-happy, gun-wielding people.

Josepha Jabo,
Uganda Media Centre.


Any conflict can end with talks

Depending on what happened in Kasese over the weekend, it seems that more killings will unravel if our leaders do not believe in peaceful negations. Every society has issues but through negations, all conflicts have been handled without killing anyone.

I respect cultural leaders but if they do not mind about the lives of others, the central government will turn against them. Uganda moved away from bloodshed and if someone tries to take us back, I don’t think that they will succeed.

Kingdoms are just portions in a bigger Uganda, which means that there must be mutual understanding between the leaders there and the central government.

All regions have experienced conflicts with the central government but negations have been the only solution.

David Serumaga,
Kampala.


Respect family of late Akena

I read with shock a letter allegedly written by Joseph Kanyamunyu following the untimely death of Kenneth Akena, a community development officer from Pader district.

In a letter he wrote on behalf of his family, Joseph said that at no time was it confirmed that his brother, Matthew, actually shot Akena. I agree with him. He also says Matthew has been very collaborative in assisting the police with all enquiries to ascertain circumstances that saw Akena killed.

While it is within the police’s mandate to investigate such a bizarre incident, I felt it was totally unnecessary for Joseph to say the bullet that killed the late Akena could have been targeting his brother and/or his girlfriend.

Come on, doesn’t the life of the deceased also matter to his family?

To link the killing incident, on the basis of assumptions, to the political events in Burundi only added salt to injury. The late Akena may have gone, but his departure will not be in vain.

Furthermore, what Joseph referred to as a temporary inconvenience to his brother’s girlfriend definitely remains a permanent inconvenience to the deceased’s family. For now, may the deceased’s soul rest in eternal peace!

Julius Uma,
Nwoya district.


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