“Is it outrageous to want to live in peace?”
On Sunday 22nd, Uganda watched in horror as a city enforcement officer , who later turned out to be a police officer, brandished his AK47 shooting indiscriminately at a group of unarmed civilians who had gathered at a demolition site carried out by Kampala city authorities. NTV Uganda brought the news in and people I was with said you could have mistken the scene to be Mogadishu. In this video, at 5:30 you see the animal that Uganda’s security forces have become. A man using a stick, a gun and a pistol to violate citizens.
In the end, Police Constable Santos Komakech Makmot killed one man and injured four more people. Yet to many the situation is not new, Ugandans have seen the privatization of security in the country lead to paramilitary groups that the police is pleased to use against opposition rallies. The goons that KCCA hires to be in charge have no businesses in enforcing laws.
Going by the comments this video generated one can understand the state in which Ugandans are in being led into by those who came to power by the barrel of the gun.
The area LCI chair at Port Bell where this tragedy happened, pleaded with one fraud-turned into a city planning director George Ninsiima Agaba. The oldman’s pleas fell on deaf ears and a life was lost. Uganda police says they will put murder charges against Santos and Agaba who are still in custody but for a man installed by president Museveni we can hope this time impunity will not win.
In the years we have seen increased militarism, groups of hooligans take over especially in protests and humiliate Ugandans who are seeking for respect of their right to assembly. Police head Lt. Gen. Kayihura went to the demolition scene only to deny responsibility. How can a city demolition go on without his knowledge? If it did happen, it is telling about his police. How can he distance himself when the killer was a policeman? I hope Kayihura soon realizes that one day he might not have the space to accept responsibility, that people will one day get really really tired and he will wish he had been more sensitive to an ordinary man.
How can you give just a month to a poor trader to get another place? And is it outrageous for them to ask for more time or more lenience? Of all the reactions, Richard Kavuma captured best the emotions of the people and what it means for us.
Are the wishes of Ugandans so outrageous?
Is it outrageous to want to live in peace?
Is it outrageous to crave confidence in the future?
Is it outrageous to cherish freedom from terror?
Is it so outrageous for a leader to speak up for the led?
Is it outrageous for that cobbler to mend shoes?
Is it so outrageous for him to succeed,
If to succeed means to survive?
Is it outrageous for Hadija to conclude,
that Uganda has not gone to the dogs,
But the dogs came to Uganda?