Sunday, 22 January 2012

The politics of ‘sedation’ is going to kill us


Every time a super-raging debate on piercing issues like corruption comes up, the NRM members of parliament are urgently called to Kyankwanzi for ‘sedation’.  While retreating, the anesthetic care involves light presentations focusing on how to navigate the winds of censure against the corrupt ‘NRM historical members’, meat roasting, donning military fatigue, engaging in trivial physicals and generally merry making.  Kyankwanzi seems to have become a political dispensary specializing in issuing political paracetamol instead offering any serious curative remedies for pressing national issues. No doubt a similar malady is experienced around most of our government medical centers which either have no medicine or specialize in the issuance of paracetamol even for the popularly known ravaging diseases.

Today Uganda is facing a host of national ailments including run-away inflation, spiraling corruption, malignant mismanagement of national resources, compounding unemployment, declining quality of education, health and many more humankind decimating threats. And in the midst of all these plagues, the prescriptive remedy of the NRM (president Museveni) has so far been limited to ideological inducements of nationalism and pan-africanism.  Can you imagine?

In the meantime, the cabinet that was selected by the president and approved by the august house hardly a year ago has been publically dismissed by the appointing authority as ‘kasiru’, literally meaning tongue tied.    This same ‘tongue tied’ cabinet is the one supposed to deliberate and define national policy for 36 million Ugandans including her relations with the rest of the world.

In political terms, a cabinet is the key advisory organ of the state on all national matters pertaining to the economy, education, health, foreign policy, citizens’ security among others.    It is extremely deplorable to hear that these heads of government administrative departments are just a bunch of individuals who are confused in expression. 

My humble plea and anticipation is that when cabinet next sits to discuss serious issues like the current dynamics of the economy, it will also take some time off to methodically thrash out the issue of collective and individual abilities.

Looking at the past few months, all groups of citizens who have gone on strike or demonstrated against poor working conditions, including doctors, nurses, teachers, traders, business men, journalists, have all demanded to meet the president.  This could partly show that these sections of the public indeed have no confidence in the existing cabinet – could this lend credence to the assertion by the president about his very own cabinet?  Anyhow, if indeed the president’s description of cabinet is anything to go by, then probably it is time to focus on the quality rather than the quantity of our country’s public administration. 

After the recent events involving a government official shooting at unarmed citizens during the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) demolition of illegal structures, one could also argue that the power may not be with the command institutions like the cabinet but with the young men and women who carry lethal weapons and can use the weapons as and when they wish at the call of their sentiments. 

In a country filled with such unexplainable predicaments, who does an ordinary citizen run to for help?  The police force on one hand is trademarked by all sorts acts of brutality towards innocent citizens, on the other hand, one is not sure whether the ‘civilian-dressed’ by-stander is not just another high handed cop waiting to prey on the helpless citizen. 

As it is now, the legs of the nation are in a cast, the head seems to be sedated, the heart is on a life support machine, the hands are cuffed to the bed and the only support that the doctors seem to be giving is delivering medical bills to infirm Uganda.  Now that the earlier on trusted doctors have been dismissed as kiwani by their own trainer and mentor, the mantle of dealing with the nation’s illness has automatically been transferred to the wanainchi. It is time for the ordinary citizens to stand up to the occasion and save Uganda!

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