Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#Uganda mourns one man where many others died in same week - #PeterSimiyu

#Issue 21

By Wabuyi Denis

This ending week has seen some of us as witness to gruesome murders and deaths.

In the late hours of Tuesday we lost an industrious young man, Mr Simiyu Peter. He was the Secretary to the District service commission Mbale. To some of us who knew Peter personally we see a great loss to the nation and especially to the Bamasaba community. The last time I had talked to Peter Simiyu was concerning Busiu Youth Forum, unemployment and the job allocations in the Local government of Mbale. Peter lamented of the high expectations from many. He cited the 3 DCO positions which attracted applications from over 100 people majority of whom were shortlisted.

To any interview panel, you could say that this was a big catchment area and one would be exposed to a large number of witty, intelligent, and experienced people. Peter told me this was not the case most of the times he had sat on the interview panels and scrutinized applications.

He cited simple things like grammar and spellings as the first turn off to the District service commission. That could not be a big fuss but the fact that people could not follow the simplest of rules like attaching the relevant documents: "You wonder whether they even read the adverts", he lamented. He then told me how people write application letters the same way they post on Social media.

Peter has died a young man but what he has achieved is worthy mentioning. With a bolstering career, I remember him telling me that he wished to resign from his position after completing his studies at Kiisi University. I don't know how far he had gone but he raised my spirits towards continued self development.

Right now Peter is gone and he will never return but his legacy will remain. I remember him giving timely updates on one of the media shy institutions; Mbale Local Government and updating us about government programs. He was a gentleman and I remember that with Peter we agreed on one thing; to disagree on politics.

That was Peter for you, today we laid him to rest in that treaded part of Bugisu, Bushiende.
Then came Friday, then came with it the most shocking news that rocked and is still rocking Uganda. The Police spokesman was shot dead. The assassination of the Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi is not anything strange but unlike the death of the  Prosecutor Joan Kagezi which was just as gruesome, public response to the death of the AIGP was varying from one group to another. With mixed reactions from the public you could still read the mind of most Ugandans.

To a grassroot individual like me, my mind was quickly drawn to the two men who were caught in the crossfire and probably killed without cause. It maybe difficult to tell the motive of the assassination but I doubt whether the assassins had a grudge with Cpl. Kenneth Erau who was schooled at Narambhai in Jinja. He is said to have been grieving the recent passing of a father he had nursed for years.

It is also unlikely that the assailants had come for Geoffrey Wawewo a resident of Namunsi who was working as Kaweesi's driver. Like Boys who kill wanton flies for game, these two young men have been victims of circumstances of maybe state inspired violence that has turned people against the state.

The people who post in jubilation or mockery of Kaweesi’s death don't do so because they are heartless, they have not lost the social fabric but their hearts have been hardened by the betrayals they have faced in a system that seems not to recognize hard work but rather tough lack.        
The presidential reaction
I remember disputing someone about the president's reaction to this murder when he ordered cameras to be installed along highways and in all towns. One thing I know is that the president could be having some knowledge that this was the 12th murder carried out in this style. May be the shooters could help our president know where to place the cameras.

In all these murders the government has rendered lip service with investigations coming to nothing. If it takes killing of Police officers for the government to act seriously then some Ugandans may not mourn the death of Kaweesi but his bodyguard and driver whose deaths may not be talked about and their murders not condemned.

But even as we lay them to rest we should reflect on a legacy we leave back in the world and what we die for; Kaweesi has been praised as a charming young man whose insistence on truth may have been one of the causes of his death. He is loved and loathed in equal measure, a result of diligent work. Either way he will be remembered, he will go down as a man who served his purpose with resolute determination that his death will always stick in our minds.

Like Simiyu and Kaweesi, we have seen how easy it is for us to be swallowed by the giants even to our graves. We struggle together and die for a cause but all credit goes to others. Three people died but we shall remember one, 10 died in the nasty accident in Mbiiko but we shall only remember Amodoi the MP.

In show of solidarity, I have chosen to dedicate my time to wishing these fallen soldiers a peaceful rest. I will also remember to say a prayer for their souls. I will write a long eulogy in remembrance of these gallant men and women whose legacy may be mobbed by the ones who were bigger than life.

However in the face of all this hullaballoo and outcry, one thing remains that we are all going the same way; Kaweesi may have died on Friday and Simiyu died on Tuesday, it doesn’t mean that they died in your place. Even if you jubilate, take champagne and wine, there will come a time when you will also die. You may not be killed by bullets like Kaweesi or die by accident like Simiyu but it is likely that you will die of a cancer, old age or high blood pressure. It is also likely that your kids that took after you may strangle you to inherit your wealth.

Death is death, we shall all meet it; it may not be today or tomorrow but death will surely come!



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