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Your mail: Let us not mix mental illness with crime

A security personnel kills someone that he owes money and has a clear escape plan after committing the crime.

He is tracked at the border of the country by security and apprehended. Let psychologists elaborate to us how somebody with mental illness audaciously plans a murder after facing challenges of paying up a loan and intricately tries to escape the country.

Aren’t we putting people with mental illness at risk by mixing them up with outright criminals? When such unfortunate events happen, it would be ideal for whoever is responsible to resist public pressure and wait for investigations in order to pronounce themselves on the facts about the suspect.

Otherwise, by proclaiming a criminal as mentally ill before the right professional checks are done, they are literally freed from the crime and the debate is diverted to their state of mind.

This is important because we should not associate mental illness with crime unless thorough checkups have been carried out.

Andrew Kasumba,

Dfcu has acted

Following my letter of complaint titled “DFCU is a big joke” (The Observer, May 17-23, 2003, Volume 18, Issue 20), Dfcu bank has been in touch and responsive, and they have resolved my problem.

F. Kirungi,

Government should tackle poverty

The current situation in Uganda has evoked a range of emotions among the population, leaving them both alarmed and conflicted.

From devastating floods causing widespread destruction to distressing reports of security forces inflicting harm, what started as grievances has now escalated into alarming patterns.

It is disheartening to realize that those entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding citizens have become a cause for concern and a threat. These distressing actions, however, have underlying roots in the pervasive poverty levels among Ugandans.

Notably, Uganda is witnessing a rise in the frequency of floods, particularly during the rainy season. These environmental disasters have led to loss of life and extensive damage to homes, crops and critical infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

The most vulnerable communities, often residing in unofficial settlements or areas with poor drainage, bear the brunt of these floods. Due to their financial constraints, they are compelled to live in environmentally sensitive locations like wetlands, forests and mountain slopes.

Unfortunately, their encroachment into these areas exacerbates the severe consequences, including displacement, property loss and disruption of livelihoods, further perpetuating their cycle of poverty.

While grappling with the aftermath of devastating floods, Uganda is also faced with another distressing issue: the increasing instances of security personnel misusing firearms, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians and even themselves.

This can also be attributed to the high poverty levels experienced by these security personnel. As human beings, they cannot function effectively on an empty stomach and, with families to provide for, the pressure they face is substantial and understandable.

These incidents have heightened tensions and unrest, eroding public confidence in the security apparatus. If left unaddressed, this trend could lead to a breakdown in law and order, posing a significant threat to national stability.

Considering their role in protecting the country, it is crucial that sustainable support is provided to these security personnel.

In addition to the aforementioned challenges, inadequate infrastructure takes a toll on Uganda’s economic growth. Poorly constructed roads pose a significant obstacle, as exemplified by the recent collapse of the bridge at Katonga.

While heavy rains may be a contributing factor, it also raises concerns about substandard work that fails to consider the area’s topography.

Infrastructure plays a pivotal role in facilitating economic development, and subpar roads hinder the transportation of people and goods, resulting in increased prices and reduced economic activity. Furthermore, the lack of road maintenance contributes to a rise in accidents and fatalities.

With the high level of poverty and its recurring effects in Uganda it is very crucial to put great emphasis on the infrastructure development of Uganda.

It is evident that these persistent challenges have substantial consequences that can hinder Uganda from attaining her Vision 2040 and commitments under the National Development Plan (III).

The government must adopt a proactive approach to the poverty levels of citizens by making significant investments in sustainable agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and other green economic activities that have a potential to improve the citizens livelihoods while conserving the environment, and also implementing and enforcing regulations to mitigate flooding and enhance the capacity of the security personnel’s social and economic wellbeing.

Babirye Jemimah Kasibbo,

Don’t tax diapers

I, the concerned citizen of this great nation, and a mother of a child born with neurological issues that require her to wear diapers, stand in protest at the proposal to impose taxes on adult diapers.

I am deeply concerned by your statement on May 4, 2023 that suggests that adult diapers could be a result of homosexuality. This view is unproven and unscientific, and deeply offensive to those who are using them.

As a concerned citizen, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that many people rely on adult diapers for various reasons.

For example, according to a 2018 study by the World Health Organization (WHO), as people age, their risk of stroke increases significantly, with individuals aged 65 and above accounting for over half of stroke-related deaths globally.

Stroke can result in incontinence and other bladder and bowel control issues, which may necessitate the use of diapers or other incontinence products.

A 2016 study conducted in six sub-Saharan African countries found that the prevalence of obstetric fistula ranged from 0.2 per cent to 3.9 per cent among women aged 15-49. A separate study conducted in Uganda found that the prevalence of fistula was 0.4 per cent among women aged 15-49 who may need adult diapers to manage themselves.

Persons with spina bifida, a neural tube defect, are often incontinent and require the assistance of adult diapers every day. Imposing taxes on adult diapers will be a financial hardship for these individuals and will leave them without the support they require.

I urge the government to reconsider this proposal and not to implement any additional taxes on adult diapers. Actually, there should be strong political will to have them distributed for free in all government health centres.

They are an essential product that supports the health, safety, and dignity of countless individuals across the nation. Implying that adult diapers are a result of sexuality is not only offensive but grossly false.

I ask that you take into account the implications of your decision and demonstrate your commitment to serving the interests of the entire citizenry.

I respectfully urge parliamentarians to reject the proposal to impose taxes on adult diapers and to stand alongside affected citizens by supporting their right to dignity and wellbeing.

Ruth Nalugya,


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