UGANDA: WHERE NO DOG EATS THE CRUMBS THAT FALL UNDER THE TABLE

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Front View of State House where the national cake is unequally distributed.

Commentary

“Let the children first be filled, for it is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to the dogs”

“Yes Lord, yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs”

“For this saying go thy way, the devil is gone out of thy daughter”

“In this government, it is very rare that you get a trusted person who can take you to the big man’s dining table”

 

GULU-UGANDA:The bible, in the gospel of Saint Mark, chapter seven, verses twenty-five to thirty, we read a conversation between Jesus Christ and a certain un-named Greek woman, centering on who should join the dining table and eat from it.

In the reading, Jesus is quoted to have told the woman in verse twenty-seven; “Let the children first be filled, for it is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to the dogs”-KJV.

The Greek woman replied Jesus, pleading in verse twenty-eight and said; “Yes Lord, yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs”-KJV.

Her daughter was possessed by evil spirits and she wanted Jesus to go to her home and cast out the devil because she had heard of the miracles that Jesus was able to do among the Jews. She wanted Jesus to extend the same service beyond the Jewish community-to a gentile like her.

But, because of her reply Jesus said to her in verse twenty-nine; “For this saying go thy way, the devil is gone out of thy daughter”-KJV.

Verse thirty concludes the brief episode and Saint Mark says; “And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed”.

You may be wondering what I am trying to say by beginning my commentary with quoting the bible. This is not a sermon but I am talking about those at the dining table in Uganda.

I am talking about those who have been dining at the big man’s table for the last thirty-two years and still counting, but do not allow crumbs to fall down for dogs to survive on as well. The national cake is not being shared equally in Uganda.

I have been trying for the past seven months, to no avail, to get access to one of the original twenty-seven gun men who launched the war at Kabamba military training wing on February 6, 1981, which war eventually ushered in the National Resistance Movement (NRM) five years later.

I wanted that ‘General’ to fulfill his promise of November 7, 1977 to me. That would have been my forty-fifth birthday present. I also wanted him to use his closeness to the big man himself; to press upon government to pay for my father’s cattle eaten during the war in northern Uganda.

Although Article 21 of the 1995 Uganda Constitution speaks of ‘equality and freedom from discrimination’, discrimination till persists.

Clause (3) states that “discriminate” means to give different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, creed or religion, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability”.

The first person I confided in was a district chairman of the ruling NRM party. I thought he would lead me to the General, who by the way I considered my friend from those days I was the Bureau Chief in Gulu for the independent daily, the Monitor.

He told me it was easy. All that was needed was to get some money ready for transport to enable us follow the friend to wherever he will be lodged in a particular time. He mentioned places like Mbarara, Nakaseke in the heart of the bush war which ushered them in power or Entebbe. He asked me to prepare about $75 US dollars. I thought that was deal done. I was wrong. Nowadays he doesn’t even answer my calls nor respond to my Facebook messages.

The second person, whom I also consider a diehard supporter of the ruling party, I requested to help me out, is now in an embassy in a foreign country. It has become difficult to communicate with him. Acholi has a saying, “odo mabor pe goyo twol neko” meaning a long stick does not beat a snake to death.

The third man, a member of the NRM’s National Executive Committee (NEC) simply referred me to another ’General’ within the same establishment, saying; “in this government it is very rare that you get a trusted person who can take you to the big man’s dining table”.

The questions I ask myself are; if you have lost trust in the party you support, why do you cling to it? Who can lead me close to the dining table so that I too, a Greek-a mere dog, can enjoy the crumbs that fall from the table?

Every Ugandan needs a morsel of the national cake which falls from the table.

 

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