Death was blind to MP Nebanda’s age
Posted Friday, January 4 2013 at 02:00
Never before had the death of anybody in Uganda been so engulfed in controversy, emotion, tension and, perhaps, drama like that of MP Nebanda.
Last year can be simply described as a difficult year for Uganda. Economic hardships and abject poverty did their worst to people. Demonstrations, like walk-to-work became almost a normal method of demanding rights and entitlements from the state.
The un-commensurable violence used by police and other ‘security’ agents to counter demonstrations is still fresh in the minds of many people. The amount of taxpayers’ money used in purchasing tear-gas still remains a well guarded state secret, but for sure, it must have been colossal.
The carnage on the roads; the Nodding Syndrome; the increasing HIV/Aids infections; the maternal and child mortalities; the mob justice deaths; the human/child sacrifice by primitive people looking for wind-fall wealth; deaths from preventable diseases because funds for service delivery had been stolen by heartless public officials.
I am not so sure that the total number of deaths in Uganda in the year just-ended or any past year can be known. In neighboring Kenya, nobody can bury a dead body without a medical death certificate stating the cause of death. A civilised country should know on a daily basis how many people have died and how many have been born.
It is not also possible to name all the prominent people who passed on during 2012. A few of them, however, spring to mind effortlessly. Lord Andrew Adimola and Mzee Tiberio Okeny Atwoma, John Odit, John Aromait and above all, the most current— Cerinah Nebanda.
Never before had the death of anybody in Uganda been so engulfed in controversy, emotion, tension and, perhaps, drama like that of MP Nebanda. I was fortunate enough to have met and interacted with her on three occasions. She impressed me as an independent thinker, a blunt speaker, a credible critic of government, a focused person and a sign of hope.
In Luo we say “Too wange pe” (Death has no eyes or Death is blind). Death doesn’t see the youngest or the oldest, the most powerful or the weakest, the richest or poorest, the tallest or the shortest, the most intelligent or the dullest, the happiest or the most miserable, the most generous or the meanest, the greediest or the most unselfish. Death is a random actor. Otherwise, it should have seen and spared Nebanda.
The death of Nebanda will for ever be remembered for the history it has made. She was the youngest MP to die in office. Secondly, her casket was brought to Parliament twice – on December 18 and 21. For the first time in our 50 years of independence, a condolence message from the President, was not only rejected but torn into pieces.
May the Almighty God keep, protect and strengthen the bereaved family and reveal the whereabouts of Adam Sulaiman Kalungi so that he can help the country out of this complex situation.
John Livingstone Okello-Okello,