Log in

Letter to the women of Uganda

greet you all, our dear mothers and daughters!

Many of you participated in the historic women’s march on Saturday. You deserve to be saluted for your courage, determination and fortitude in the face of attempts by the Uganda Police Force to stop you from exercising your inalienable right to free expression.

The police was of course caught offside giving a rather ridiculous explanation, if at any rate it can be called one, for why the ‘one-million women’s march’ could not be cleared to take place. Let me say a little about this before I return to the key message of this letter.

The police insisted there was no need to protest against rampant kidnaps and murder of especially women in and around Kampala. Reason? Apparently because security chiefs and the president had addressed the nation and explained the security state of affairs in the country, the answers had been given. No need to protest.

The letter by the inspector general of police to the organisers of the march was as laughable and shallow as you can find.

First, it is scarcely the business of the IGP or any police officer to determine whether citizens have valid grounds to want to exercise their freedom of expression and the right to assemble.

Even if the president had addressed parliament over the security situation in the country, the women who were planning to march may well have wanted to, among other things, express their dissatisfaction with the president’s explanation. In fact, neither the president nor the heads of security and police provided persuasive explanations to assure the public of safety and security.

Second, and even more critical, the police has no powers to grant citizens the permission to protest. Freedom of expression is a key fundamental human right whose exercise cannot be subjected to the power and control of any authority.

I am aware of the existence of the nefarious Public Order Management Act a law that sadly was engineered by two individuals who at the time were so powerful but have since fallen out of favour with the monster system they actively built: former prime minister Amama Mbabazi and former IGP Kale Kayihura.

But POMA is a draconian law that citizens reserve the right to defy. It cannot trump the constitution and many international covenants to which Uganda is a signatory.

I now return to the crux of this letter. Women make nations. They nurture families and sustain homes. They broker peace and build bridges in broken societies. I can go on and on. The point, though, is clear – a country facing deep crises like Uganda urgently needs its women to step forward.

The Saturday march is much laudable. But it shouldn’t end there. This needs to constitute the forging of a broader national movement, spearheaded by women, to reclaim our country from abuse and emasculation, to free Uganda from the vestiges of patriarchal excesses and the arrogance of masculinity.

The kidnap and murder of especially young women in recent months is grave and chilling. We should all be outraged and demand that the authorities arrest the situation.

The rampant murders, however, are only symptomatic of a larger social decay and state dysfunction. When the state is criminalised and politics is perverted, and when the basic social values are negated, you end up with runaway criminality, disregard for decency and collapse of belief in the common good.

We have an utterly broken political system with a ruler totally out of ideas to prudently manage the country, a bloated cabinet and parliament that are doing precious little to serve the needs and desires of the country.

At the societal level, we have been invaded by religious bigotry and cultural discomfiture. We have spiritual entrepreneurs with a free hand to mislead, misinform and divert especially young Ugandans from confronting the real issues we face.

In all the problems staring at us, it is unfortunate that a few women have actively abetted abuse of public institutions and contributed to the deepening of the political crisis afflicting the country.

Consider, for example, the role of women parliamentarians and members of cabinet in sustaining the creeping authoritarianism of General Museveni.

It is a sad recollection that in 2005 a small coterie of women superintended the bribery leading to the removal of presidential term limits, the first step in handing Uganda a life-presidency. Ten years later, a woman kick-started the process leading to the removal of presidential age-limit, the last remaining hurdle in confirming a life-presidency.

On the other hand, the vast majority of Uganda’s women have, I am afraid to say, abdicated as the country is run down the drain. Yet with your numbers and the capacity to disarm otherwise seemingly powerful men, it is you, the women of this country who can get Uganda out of the current mess.

This letter is an impassioned call to action, to lead the front and speak out and denounce the excesses of the rulers, the myriad injustices against all Ugandans, the blatant corruption and abuse of public trust, the social decay and destruction engulfing us.

moses.khisa@gmail.com

The author is an assistant professor of political science at North Carolina State University.

Comments

+1 #1 Akot 2018-07-04 20:19
Museveni has every man/every woman under his control! The question is:

- Where is the National leadership needed to UNITE Ugandans against the dictator without tribal land in the country, yet rules through a tribalistic system that only UNITY of Ugandans can bring down?

For how much longer will educated Ugandans write articles to blame Musevnei, but don't call Ugandans to UNITY so that the dictator is thrown out?

How can Ugandans blame Museveni for doing as he wants when it's the very people who MUST UNITE to throw him out handing over tax money in peace so that the demon they say they don't want, just goes on & without opposition?

So called opposition leaders know the army/polic belong to Museveni, yet they too are looking for protection from the dictator, unawared they MUST UNITE to UNITE Ugandans, if Musevnei is to be got rid of!...
Report to administrator
+1 #2 Akot 2018-07-04 20:22
...Where is the so much needed Common National opposition leadership Ugandans MUST have so that Musevnei is stopped from owning our country?

Are we that dumb & don't see Musevnei is there to own our country & is using us to do so?

Which court of justice will Ugandans go to when they shall have handed over their country to the former asylim seeker they were so stupid to give shelter to, yet now he uses Ugandans as fire balls against one another, tribally divided them, & our people are handing him over the country without even asking - what are we doing & why"?

On which media will Ugandans blame Museveni, complain about him... when the country is no longer theirs, but completely controlled/owned by the former asylum seeker?

Why don't Ugandans consider themselves owners of the zone formed by their tribal lands, tribal identity they are so attached to, yet ALL are losing?...
Report to administrator
+2 #3 Akot 2018-07-04 20:34
...If Ugandans don't want to Reform the Republic, they MUST still UNITE to throw Museveni out then go for independent tribal states, which will leave the dictator no place in the zone to fight any one from?

Why do Ugandans want to be forever slaves on even their tribal lands?

Without UNITY to throw Musevnei out, he will end up throwing EVERY UGANDAN OUT OF EVERY TRIBAL LAND!

If Ugandan women joined by children come out in full to block Musevnei to force him out, then, men/army/police will have to take sides!

After all, there are no men in Uganda any more, museveni has boutht/is buying them all 1 by 1!

Who gets pregnant to ensure population?

Uganda women MUST UNITE & block Museveni to give their children chance or not have children to be slaves with no future!
Report to administrator
+4 #4 Julius O 2018-07-05 00:12
Akot, are your comments automated. Regardless of the subject being written about, your comments are always the same - never missing the words TRIBE and MUSEVENI.

It irritates, respect the writers by addressing yourself to what they've written, not always pasting in the same irrelevant comments.
Report to administrator
0 #5 Lakwena 2018-07-06 14:30
Quoting Akot:
...

Why do Ugandans want to be forever slaves on even their tribal lands?

If Ugandan women joined by children come out in full to block Musevnei to force him out, then, men/army/police will have to take sides!

After all, there are no men in Uganda any more, museveni has boutht/is buying them all 1 by 1!

Who gets pregnant to ensure population?

Uganda women MUST UNITE & block Museveni to give their children chance or not have children to be slaves with no future!


In other words Akot, because of the NRA humiliation of Acholi in 1986, and the Acholi men were running into the tall grass; it was Alice Auma Lakwena, a semi illiterate woman who barehanded stepped forward to face off Mr. M7 and bandits up to Magamaga in Jinja.
Report to administrator

Comments are now closed for this entry