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Mr President, I need protection too

Mr President, it has been a while since I last wrote to you. For the deep love and admiration I have for you, every now and again I find myself desiring to tell you something – sensible or not.

Bear with me, though, like you tolerate our impatience that sends us into crying longevity after only 32 years. I easily digress; so, let me get straight to my request.

I know you are a very busy man, as you have to make decisions on almost every aspect of our wellbeing – the price that people like you pay for being one in 40 million. You have these ministers to teach, who can’t distinguish the generous difference between 0.5 per cent and one per cent.

I wonder who appoints such fellows to waste your time. Your work would have been better without them. There is often this drama, where they are busy defending what they think you are in support of, and when they hear you speak differently they immediately switch the narrative!

Their behaviour vividly reminds me of my childhood. We surely know that they are responsible for much of the mess that goes about this yard. That is why whenever we register another of those incredible ‘errors,’ we ask: ‘who is giving the president such terrible advice?’

It can’t be you, of course. They are no different from many of the MPs, from whom many are picked - the fellows that pass a bill and later ask: ‘What is it that we passed?’ Their motto must be: ‘act twice before you think.’

I heard with delight that you ordered for trucks for army escorts for each MP. Whoever fails to appreciate this initiative needs to be reminded of the real threat that faces our MPs.

They have been so effective in expressing the country’s needs and desires to the extent that the people they represent have become so envious of their remarkable representation. Now they are hated by electorates for their goodness; electorates that don’t know what they need.

Such threats did not emerge before because we had never gotten a parliament as enviable as this one. They clearly need to be protected against society. I am not a violent man. The last time I engaged in a physical fight I was around 11 years old, at a spring well.

The embarrassing memories of the thin boy throwing me into the well have kept me from fighting ever since. Yet, even in my hard-earned resolution to non-violence, there are MPs I see on TV and feel like slapping it, in good faith.

Oh! Before I forget, regards to esteemed Honorables Magyezi, Simeo, and Nankabirwa. In my humble view, we should as well provide a truck of soldiers for MPs’ wives, husbands, parents, children, grandparents, and in-laws.

This money can be found. The mobile money tax revenue is enough to sort this. I have heard some insensitive people asking why government says it has no money when they ask for ambulances and hospital equipment.

As they say, knowledge is limited but stupidity has no limits! How could one fail to note the obvious difference between the value of an MP and that of peasants!

Get over your equality utopia and take a lesson from water – it always finds its level in a container. It was at a friend’s wedding last year that I got the best practical illustration of priorities. I had made a huge contribution, but somehow food did not get to a couple of tables, including ours.

Then, after the dishes were clearly empty, my friend came to register his apologies. Every here and there between the apology, he would pause to belch and say: ‘excuse me’. Well, the most important people had eaten.

The moral of the anecdote is that if you are not at the high table, get used to the possibility of being forgotten. I will, therefore, be measured in what I request for, as I sit here below the table.

One, I need protection from those seated above at the table, so that they don’t step on me as they swing their legs about for a more comfortable eating position. My life and that of others, especially those of much lower means, is in real danger.

Every month, over 30 per cent of my salary is deducted in taxes. More of my sweat’s reward goes in taxes on this, that, and everything. Ultimately, more than 55 per cent of my income ends up in government’s basket. That wouldn’t hurt much if the terms of our social contract were mutually respected.

Mr President, I need protection from those who facilitate their pompous lives by squeezing our intestines. I believe you don’t know them: those that move around like their dense convoys are chauffeuring angel Michael to a heavenly meeting; those for whose comfort everything else can wait; those whose sickness must be attended to at our expense in hospitals of foreign countries that value their people’s lives. Who will protect us from them? Will you, sir?

How many of us at the periphery of government’s priorities die every year because nobody practically cares if we live or die? Is ‘killing’ more evil than ‘letting die’?

I even wonder if they are aware that they live a parasitic life; ticks whose abdomens must be full regardless of the state of the host. And you won’t believe, Mr President, that even pointing to their parasitism is considered offensive, if not inciting violence! A colleague was brutally beaten by thieves that had broken into his house.

His offense was to wake up and shout ‘thieeeeeves.’ As they hit him into a bloody being, they kept asking in utmost anger: ‘how dare you call us thieves?’

Then they made off with all they found worth carrying, including smoked fish! Send me a truck of sniper commandos, too, sir. Thank you!

jsssentongo@gmail.com

The author works with the Center for African Studies at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi.

Comments

+1 #11 lydia 2018-07-20 17:58
Dr. ssentongo my beloved lecturer. how I always admire your articles full of humour but with bulletins in detail.

it shows how deep your thinking capacity is. you know what you are the Plato's and the Socrates of today.I always love you
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+2 #12 Jama 2018-07-20 18:52
Robert Atuhairwe thank you for revealing to us, how in your National Robbing movement you fabricate MPs.

Dr sentongo big up. Whenever l read your articles its difficult to avoid laughing.

Can please post more cartoons. Thank you for the entertaining and awakening articles.
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+1 #13 Akot 2018-07-20 20:38
DR Jimmy Spire SSENTONGO,

How are you? Thank you for reminding us it's Museveni alone who has a say, appointes ministers he does not need!

One wonders why Museveni still has tribal leaders in pose: he does not need them now as Ugandans are permanently tribalists, will never accept 1 of their own from any tribal land as National Leader but are at peace with Museveni!

The problem is Museveni is not eternal & in 30 years when he will be too old, what will Ugandans do?

But of course there are so many migrants in the country & they will take their chances to rule Uganda after Museveni!

But, if Museveni will be in full control of Uganda by then, his family member will take his place & the peace he establoished in Uganda will continue as no one from any tribe dares come out to try to be the next rule afraid the other tribes will come out against him/her!
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0 #14 Akot 2018-07-20 20:44
Quoting Omar:


I 'envy' this intelligence - which brings us such interesting writing. Writing that depicts the dire situation we are in as a country - in a very cynical sense


Understood, yet,

Museveni will go on for the next 30 years & Dr Sentongo will feed us with his writings but Ugandans' situation will be even worse!

How do those who were 30 years old in 1986 & are still alive live today?

How will those 30 years today live the next 30 years knowing it will still be Museveni in power?
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+1 #15 Akot 2018-07-20 21:07
Kelly, agreed!

MPs beleive their position is lifetime as Museveni's: they take their position for granted!

Mps are not aware Museveni only needs them to blind the world it's democracy - they work for the dictator & not for electorate, yet are not aware of this!

While it's understandable Ugandans accept the tribalistic system with a dictator who has no tribal land in the country, what will happen when Museveni will be no more?

Will another migrant take his place & the tribalistic system of rule continues in peace as it is with chief tribal leader Museveni?

Uganda is a country where only:

- Museveni,
- tribal leaders,
- ministers,
- mps

are served with tax money & it's the most peaceful country in today troubled world where people UNITE & RISE UP to throw out dictators/bad leaders to give chance for good governance!
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0 #16 Akot 2018-07-20 21:32
Ed, understood, yet,

For how much long will those who admire/love
Dr Ssentongo & his writing do so, as Museveni is going no where for the next 30 years?

Have Ugandans accepted Musevnei as the only one until he drops dead, or do Ugandans belive Musevnei will NEVER die?

Those 60 years today, if still alive, won't be there in another 30 yeas, right?

How old is Dr Ssentongo, how old are you Ed?

A few hours ago in town, a man begged me for a few cents to add to what he has to go to a Coffee Shop:
I told him I didn't have a cent! He was mad saying he didn't believe I didn't have money!...
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0 #17 Akot 2018-07-20 21:34
...My neigbhout was mad at me when I told her I didn't have cooking oil/milk to give her when she knocked at my door!

She was right because I refused to give her milk/cooking oil simply because she has just came back from super market with packs of bier, cigarettes, branded whiskey, but no cooking oil nor milk for her 3 children - She & her husband receive so much social allowances/services: they don't work but are priority of government!

Do Ugandans understand why Akot bores them with UNITY to throw Musevni out & put in place a people's government so that tax money goes to help those in need?
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0 #18 Akot 2018-07-20 21:36
Quoting Phalanch:
The article is reflection of what we have settled for, a black highway with uncertain future and am sure those who will come after us, will always wonder what went on our minds??


Thanks!
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0 #19 Akot 2018-07-20 21:43
Quoting Lakwena:
... when moral cowardly bullies like Mr. M7 take over political power and/or office, they are unnaturally indifferent, cruel and foul.


Thanks!

This is why Ugandans MUST UNITE to throw Musevdeni out!

So many: Betty Long Cap...have gone quiet now & Akot will also have to do so & leave Ugandans in peace with Musevnei!
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0 #20 Budapest 2018-07-23 16:45
I imagine when the Commander in chief feels that there's a need to arm MPs in whatever way possible, for reasons and threats that he knows to be substantial, we need to refrain from making a joke out of it.

We need to ask, what has necessitated this kind of response? There's no doubt a life of a common man and that of an MP are equal in any measure but it's clear the death of an MP more often than not gets more coverage and potentially affects the country more.

A threat to the life of anyone should not be taken for granted, whether MP or not. Please don't make a joke out of a matter as serious as this.
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