Very very true…. ‘But what is peace in a country where our sisters and brothers in northern Uganda spent a decade facing the brunt of a madman and his crew of bloodthirsty rapists, mutilators and murderers?
What is freedom in a militarized democracy where the voice of the people is stifled in the name of maintaining public order? Where youth unemployment is raging, while corruption, theft/misuse of public money is rampant but mildly penalized, if at all? Where communities are brought to a standstill by the infestation of jiggers, maternal and infant mortality rates remain high, and essential services like healthcare are a luxury preserved for a few? Where is justice (and common-sense) when the supreme court can rule that an election wasn’t free and fair, and yet claim it to be a legal election?’
As the 2001 Uganda presidential elections loomed and the drama that came with it ensued, I hit voting age with no fanfare, rather, steadfast preparation for a matter of greater personal urgency – final examinations. It wasn’t up for discussion that I wouldn’t participate in the election fracas. Attempts at that debate came up again in 2006, and were avoided altogether by 2011. Being a woman, the right to vote isn’t something I take for granted in a world that is still as sexist today as it was centuries ago. But it always seemed piteous to stand in line for an ink-stained thumb and claims that one had exercised a constitutional right in a shady political environment.
Thus, although I have a high level of interest in Kizza Besigye, particularly the motivations for his campaign(s) against the presidency of Yoweri Museveni, it hasn’t materialized into actually voting for any of these…
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