Politics gives me headache. The thought of its true definition, I always try to avoid. But just recently, one politician raped my mind. Youth Affairs Minister Ronald Kibuule did, with his comments that rape victims who are indecently-dressed have themselves to blame.
What I felt was a mishmash of disbelief, fury, puzzlement. But when the words sank in, my understanding of what an actual human is, was torn to pieces. I sought to place this man in a category alien to humans and mammals in general.
Women and youth activists have demanded that the minister must apologise to Ugandans and resign. In newspapers, readers have branded his comments ‘insensitive’, ‘unacceptable’, ‘careless’, ‘unjustifiable’. On social media, petitions were signed to have him out of the position he holds on behalf of the youth and children.
These reproofs and demands were supposed to appeal to the minister’s sense of reason. They were supposed to court some reflection. But he didn’t come close to remorsefulness. He stood before Parliament though, and cleared his good name – because he was misquoted. He, a minister, a husband to wives, a father of girls and a brother to sisters, couldn’t have said those things.
See, the audio evidence uploaded by Daily Monitor on its website must have been dug from some evil forest to stain the minister’s reputation!
So I’ll not pelt the minister with anymore words of appeal or rebuke. I’ll not wag the flag of decency at him or attempt to reason that no woman or girl, however half-dressed, deserve to be raped.
I’ll close my eyes but keep my mind’s eye awake to visualize the real Pearl of Africa – the one dotted with Karuma Falls, Fort Patiko, Sipi Falls, Murchison park, Gorillas, Crested Cranes and the unmedalled heroes of this land.
I’ll shut my ears to those who insist that the lifespan of our anger, reprimand and reproofs are too short to give birth to sanctions and punishments to wrongdoers. I won’t accept the voice which insists that our memories about wrongs done in broad day light often fade with the setting sun.
I’ll just be, and wait for another outburst from another patriotic leader, I’ll wait to read the good Auditor General’s report about monies that grow legs and walk out of public coffers and flee from rightful beneficiaries.
And for those who will be named in the theft of hospital drugs, killings in Kanungu or land snatching in northern Uganda – I’ll wait for the investigation and what often follows – inaction.
I’ll rally teachers to be staunch believers in promises. Promises need patience. So I’ll tell our teachers, nurses or even the men in charge of our security, to know that the national cake is big and cutting it needs time – and because cake is often sweet, some don’t need to eat it at all. It’s not good for your health.
So for today, let’s take a break from this social lunacy and political absurdities and just be, or at least find ourselves from where they have roamed.