Thursday June 19 2014

Not all problems in Uganda are spiritual!

Not all problems in Uganda are spiritual!


By Benjamin Mukasa

Filth, mediocrity, disrespect for time and irritating adverts are not the only things I don’t appreciate in this country!
Someone suggested I should also write about what I love as a contrast. I will not contrast anything. I should not feel the need to prove to anyone that I love Uganda.

Until the day I decide to share why this country is a gem, you will for now make do with the things I loathe.

I have a simple message for this country; not all problems are spiritual!! There is nothing spiritual about unemployment, being single in your 30s, or about a husband or wife who goes astray. Unemployment is an economic issue, there are no spirits involved, just a simple principle of supply and demand, of a labour market that is larger than the economy can absorb. In short, the people looking for jobs are more than the jobs available. Nothing more, nothing less.

What this nation needs are ideas, innovations, investment and less of citizens wasting time engaging in spiritual warfare with spirits that don’t exist. No amount of praying or fasting will grow the economy or create jobs. Of course one can pray for ideas and wisdom. I am one constantly invoking God for the winning idea.
The danger of bringing spirits into everything is that nobody ever takes responsibility for their behaviour because a holy or evil spirit is perceived to have orchestrated the situation and the persons involved as mere pawns in a battle that is higher than they are. I recently listened to a pastor on the radio giving advice on a number of issues.

One of the receipients of this advice was a woman whose husband had fallen for another woman. He said: “A spirit of infidelity is hovering upon this country.” May I add that if such a spirit exists, not only is it hovering, but it has long made this country its home and is not about to relocate anywhere.

I was particularly troubled by his advice as the radio host punctuated his every sentence with Amens! He said something to the effect that girls should start praying and fasting for their future husbands as soon as they can speak. Did you hear that mothers of toddlers? Teach your girls marriage supplications and intercession alongside the alphabet!
It was very disturbing to hear ill advice from a man who should harbour deeper insight, than a litany of illogical statements that entrench the patriarchal hegemony. I expected the spiritual man to engage, reason and dissect the issue, but he went for the easy target – a nonexistent spirit.

Such answers are useless, not helpful and continue to cast women as helpless victims of fate. No spirit sends a man into cheating, or falling in love with another woman. It is called choice done with a full conscious and conscience. Instead of wasting time invoking and blaming spirits, women can do well by looking into their own situations, their roles in it and chances are that the answers lie there.

I am by no means suggesting that the problem lies with the woman, not at all. I am simply saying if a woman seeks to get to the bottom of her unfaithful husband action, which she must, she will realise there are no spirits involved.
Country men, much of our problems are directly to do with our choices as individuals, families and as a nation, not spirits.

Rather than needless spiritualising, how about taking responsibility? In Luganda, there is a proverb which when loosely translated means, a bone you swallow in a show of might, must also be vomited with might, in short, take responsibility. Kyijja Kugwa!!