Thought and Ideas
Police, Besigye: Uganda’s Tom and Jerry
Posted Sunday, March 17 2013 at 02:00
We are used to Polices’ relationship with Besigye, by now. He was put in the crosshairs by security agencies when he emerged as a viable challenger to the President, but police is the most enthusiastic.
Because they cannot keep him in prison legitimately – not that they haven’t tried: remember the rape joke? – they decided to imprison him outside of it. He has to have police approval each time he wants to leave his home, but that approval is denied him almost always.
Of course, some will say, Besigye has not helped himself that much. Walk-to-Work painted him as a rabble-rouser, someone whose overriding aim is to cause chaos whenever he can. Police play on that reputation, with their preventive arrests and claims that they are actually keeping law and order by holding him whenever he leaves his home. Which, as lame excuses go, is classic.
See, we have for a long time not seen the police leaving the man go about his business freely. One gets the feeling they always wanted to lock him in, and Walk-to -Work provided cover. However, some of us think Besigye can go wherever he wants, hold his rallies, without causing chaos: in most cases a police presence instead provokes his supporters. There’s also the small matter that most of what they, police, are doing is illegal.
Technical glitches delay Kenya presidential poll
By now, we probably know who won Kenya’s presidential race and whether there will be a runoff. On Friday, however, it was collective fatigue at what can only be described as the ineptitude and posturing of the Kenyan electoral commission (or Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), as the Kenyans call it) that kept the whole region on edge.
The failure of the electronic vote transmission system forced the IEBC to reset tallying and resort to manual tallying: it also gave room for the trailing coalition of the two frontrunners to claim rigging, and distorted the routines of some of us.
At that rate you’d rather have the Uganda Electoral Commission: a biased regime tool, but at least they go about it with some measure of urgency.
We actually do elections better than Kenyans. Granted, our claims to a democracy are only legitimate insofar as results go the regime’s way, but at least we don’t fall into tribal camps while selecting our potential leaders the way the Kenyans did.
It’s probably because economic needs override other interests, the reason why many voters are (and were) easily bought. A casual look at previous presidential races before this regime shows this was the case even then.
Hopefully, this will hold up. Still, this was one messy drag.
Arua patients to pay for ambulances
It gets boring after some time to drum on about the same issue. The public healthcare sector in this country, for example. Calling it pathetic does not aptly describe it.
That would at least mean that bureaucrats are probably doing the right things but stuff, say due to poor governance, graft, etc, is not working out. They are not. The people in charge of health, the decision makers, are simply unconcerned. That and, of course, poor governance and graft is what is ailing healthcare in this country (and just about everything under government) and things are just getting worse.
Arua District Council is in the process of passing a law that will require people to pay for ambulance services, according to Friday’s Daily Monitor. They say demand has gone up, yet the fuel budget from the government cannot meet it.
Politicians! The simple fact, and you’d expect every Ugandan to know this by now, is that there are people who cannot afford fuelling an ambulance.
This is not only a worrying failure of policy, but inhuman too. A government in a country like ours where we have too many poor people would put such basic needs on top of its priorities.
And it would pay off: you need healthy people before you can dream of economic growth. Thing is, they don’t really care about that.