Just like generals, Mwesigwa has a right to life and freedom
- Written by Editorial
On average, military generals on the road are protected by about 12 soldiers who are armed to the teeth.
Similar protection is accorded to the speaker and deputy speaker of parliament, ministers, and some heads of parastatals, among others.
In some cases, this protection is extended to their spouses and children. Recently, the minister of Internal Affairs, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, claimed the reason we do not have enough police officers to man our security is because we have a huge parliament.
What is enough? How much would it cost to run a police post at every gombolola? Does it exceed or even come close to what is spent on a single general? The country can afford to buy and fill up the vehicles in which these VIPs travel but cannot find a decent wage for the police officers.
The country cannot afford to recruit and pay intelligence officers to ensure the safety of Ugandans such as Eric Mwesigwa! Mwesigwa was abducted and tortured by unidentified persons. He belongs to the opposition National Unity Platform, a party that is led by Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
He was abducted, and recently he was released with wanton wounds on his chest. It is suspected that he was burned by a red-hot iron. The Uganda People’s Defence Forces and other security agencies have denied torturing Mwesigwa. Who
then abducted and tortured Mwesigwa? The military generals have a right to life, and so do all Ugandans.
It is the duty of the state and security agencies to ensure that the right to life of all Ugandans like Mwesigwa is not compromised. More intriguingly, Mwesigwa pays taxes to ensure that security forces are trained, equipped and prepared to protect citizens from danger.
Security takes up a large share of the country’s budget. So, if the state, which is equipped with the intelligence services, police and army, does not know who tortured him, then who should? Is state protection limited to political and security leaders?
Mwesigwa and others surrendered their right to self-defense to the sovereignty of the state of Uganda. Mwesigwa never chose to be Ugandan. It was imposed by nature. And since he made that decision, the state ought to protect him.
Does the life of an individual matter?
Two MPs are on trial for allegedly being behind the murders in Masaka two years ago. Why were they arrested? Because it is the duty of the state to protect its citizens regardless of social status, The UPDF spokesman acknowledges that sometimes the army has been involved in terrorizing citizens. But he has also added that a certain group is involved in kidnapping and torturing Ugandans to tarnish the image of the state.
How did they come to this conclusion? The state was invented for the mutual benefit of the governor and the governed. Security and safety are intended to be enjoyed by all individuals or sections of society. Ugandans are asked to be patriotic, but Uganda must be loveable as well.
But their children and grandchildren will live in the environment that their powerful parents have created. The problem is that the children and grand children of the mighty and powerful of today may become the powerless of tomorrow.
Do any of these powerful people of today ever imagine that their offspring may become the torture victims of the rulers of tomorrow? Stop being selfish. Be humane to other Ugandans. Even if it is only for the future of your offspring!