Day 16: Politics vs Religion.
If God ever came off his high horse and met me on my way to wherever I like going, he would stop me. His mood would either be anger or extreme joy. Given his known use of magic, he would then conjure up a myriad of heavenly liquor. To facilitate our conversation. I would be distraught because Uganda Waragi Coconut and Bell Lager would be missing. He would then send his son or one of his errand boys (always boys) to procure what I want. Most likely Prophet Mbonye who would then declare UG to have something special as seen by the almighty.
Anyway I have always dabbled in religious beliefs to take advantage of situations. Take the last time my friend was having land wrangles, I hired a witchdoctor to inspect and bless the plot of land, costing me a good chicken. Needless to say, the greatly religious neighbours who were deploying armed escorts vanished turns out God doesn’t lift spells easily and that moment proved what I suspected, our superstitions supersede our faith and even armed men are mythical. We still crackle up when these things come up.
When you talk politics to a Ugandan, the first picture is that of the man in a big hat fighting his ever changing rivals who seem hell bent on distorting the peace he and his family seemed to have sacrificed a lot for. 35 years later finally security is a budget priority at 4 trillion shillings. I think the usual images of a newly polished politician fresh out of the police cells talking about torture distorts the picture and simplifies it. The political questions Ugandans should be asking ought to be more complex than roads and newly painted hospitals.
Our ambition can only be limited by our imagination which is always shaped by our environment. Our environment is shaped by our policy and our adherence rather than enforcement. Everytime we have to enforce a law, we lose a chance to make a community asset. The resentment of a Government road leads it to be poorly maintained. This is the same attitude we have towards public funds. The common argument is that the money doesn’t belong to anyone so it can be taken by anyone to do anything including construction of monoliths. So money for public library is used to buy airtime to mobilise for fundraisers to build a school library.
My personal failure of politics has always been the story of my grandfather. Who came of age as independence of this country loomed large as a Clinical officer. After some years, he retired and off he went to his country home in the bowels of Kwapa, Tororo. As the fundamental change was coming alive. An onset of early diabetes had him amputated at the knees confining him to a wheelchair and in need of constant insulin injections. A luxury that he had to travel 63km to receive from the Mbale Regional Hospital. Each week. As if that wasn’t rough, the village parrot with a penchant for loud vibes would wave his Car down. Diligently remind him that his failure to build capacity that would have meant he would have had to travel 1.5km to Asinge Health Centre or 15km to St. Anthony Hospital.
That same idiot reminded my grandfather that none of his children and grandchildren had attended Morukatipe Primary School where for years the old man was held as Patron. Why should his kids attend a school that the Patron couldn’t even let his progeny tour? One day he breathed his last and sparked off land wrangles among his many children none of whom visit that place more than 4 times a year and all have children who can’t locate that place on a map.
If that doesn’t really give you a glimpse of how chaotic our governance has been, you should stick to god. And please register to vote that is the most important contribution you can make.