Commentary

Maid to enroll in Law School and gun for DPP job

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By Joachim Buwembo

Posted  Sunday, December 29   2013 at  02:00

In Summary

“Don’t you remember that someone came up and confessed burning down the tombs? Why wasn’t he prosecuted?”

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My maid has been in low spirits recently. She had excitedly declared that this year’s would be the last Christmas she would celebrate as a maid because she expected to get some free billions from Uganda Development Bank. To her disappointment, she discovered that things have changed at UDB and there is no more playing around in that national institution. But now her mood has improved as she has also decided to seek unearned windfalls and is ready to put in years of toil before making it into the big league.

Her new inspiration came as she was watching TV and for the nth time, saw the Katikkiro receiving contributions for the restoration of the burnt out Kasubi Royal Tombs.
“I am going to join Law School and one day become the government chief prosecutor,” she declared.

“You mean Director of Public Prosecutions,” I said. “He is usually called the DPP.”
“That one, I cannot imagine how many important cases are never brought to court,” she said. “Don’t you remember that someone came up and confessed burning down the tombs? Why wasn’t he prosecuted?”

“I think that was a confused chap,” I responded, vaguely recalling the case.
“That is what you say, but who determined whether he was confused? How come I never heard of the details of his confusion as determined by the mental doctors?”
“Do they have to report to you?” I asked irritably. “Please get me some coffee.”
She obediently went and fixed my coffee and brought it to my desk. I continued typing away then after some time I realised that she was still standing there.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Do you think the DPP is prosecuting all the important cases that ought to be prosecuted?” she asked.
“Yes,” I answered impatiently. “And if he decides not to prosecute, he does not have to report to you.”

“Did you hear of a highly qualified lawyer who recently declared that he had committed a very big crime?” she asked quietly.
“Which one?” I responded also with a question.
“I think that person has two degrees in Law, and he called a meeting in another country and announced that he stole the general election in our country,” she said, getting more mischievously excited, obviously convinced that she was getting me cornered. “You keep telling us that according to the constitution, all power belongs to the people. So the gentleman who says he overthrew the power of the people and overturned their will ought to be extracted from where he is and prosecuted.”

“The word is ‘extradited’” I corrected, hoping to throw her off balance.
“Extra-whatevered, isn’t he supposed to be prosecuted for committing the biggest offence against the country?” she asked. “Or are you going to say he was also confused like the man who claimed to have burnt the Kasubi tombs?”
“And how do you know that he actually claimed to have stolen the elections?” I challenged, trying to defeat her on technicalities.

“It was widely reported in the media and he has not come forward to refute it,” she answered rather smartly. “So your DPP should proceed and extract him and prosecute him for treason.”
“Not so fast,” I tried to explain. “The DPP does not act on newspaper reports.”
“The DPP has prosecuted many people because of what appears in newspapers, and since this one has not been refuted, he should extract the person who claims to have stolen the election,” the girl said firmly.

“But the election was not stolen according to what the Supreme Court established. So in which court will the DPP prosecute the man?” I argued, happy with myself that I was getting the better of the argument. “It is like me claiming to have murdered you but when you are found to be alive, I cannot be prosecuted for murder.”

“But if you go ahead and give details of how you put poison in my food, then you should be prosecuted for attempted murder even if you I did not eat the food,” the girl argued. “After all, all people who get prosecuted for treason did not succeed in their plots, otherwise the government that prosecutes them would not be around to prosecute them.”

The damn girl seemed to be getting her arguments right and I wished she could drop the subject. I could not flee because she was standing in doorway of my study. “And remember you told me once that with treason, they usually charge you with two crimes; the plot to commit the treason and also failing to report the plot. So the man should be charged for failing to report his rigging activities even though they did not succeed. He should also be charged with not reporting his fellow criminals with whom they set up the rigging operation, and be ordered to reveal their identities, because he said they were in a team that was feeding wrong data to the electoral commission.”

“This coffee has gone cold,” I said. “Go and warm it and after that you go the trading centre and buy me some items t.”
By the time she returned form the trading centre, I had sneaked out of the house and gone to the nearby health club.

buwembo@gmail.com