I am painfully convinced that if Museveni’s favourite bull had been killed in a fashion akin to Mr. Ronald Sebulime’s, it would receive justice and a decent send-off.
The responsible herdsmen and other suspects would already be in detention.
News bulletins would be awash with stories about its name, date-of-birth, the meaning(s) of its colour patterns, how much it was loved and how many calves it had sired…the works.
Spineless religious leaders from all denominations would be falling over themselves with pretentious piety to preside over a requiem mass for the animal.
The funeral would feature in the print media.
We would be treated to displays of ill-gotten wealth and ostentation as mourners arrive in their numbers to eulogize and send-off the Emperor’s favourite pet.
Law enforcement officers in attendance would, in their speeches, vow to take action and not rest until the circumstances surrounding the death of the bull are brought to light.
A moment would be spared for the veterinary doctor to read the autopsy report. One or two people would be seen sobbing and concealing their tears eyes behind a pair of those ubiquitous dark shades—a signature of many a high profile funeral.
Not as much for Ronald Sebulime—a widower and sole breadwinner who was on his way to visit his children at school.
Summarily executed, his half-dressed corpse was thrown onto the dirty and rusty carrier of a police pick-up truck.
Nantaba, around whom this murder revolves has insulted the deceased, scoffed at the grieving family, threatened media houses and publicly defied police summons on account of Gen. Museveni’s advice to ‘sit tight’ until he advises otherwise.
A family mourns helplessly.
An entire country looks on haplessly.
We’re now living in fear of driving or riding behind the high and mighty in Uganda lest their guards open fire and explain our deaths as necessary because they thought we were assassins.
After all, the Emperor advised not so long ago that if you see someone and you suspect them of having harmful designs, “sort them out!”
Sebulime isn’t the first. Remember Kenneth Akena whose case is for all intents closed? How about the two-year-old Javiirah Nalwanga in Masaka? Irumba Erasmus of Rwebisengo? And the unnamed dozens who have been killed in the course of protests against misrule? Kasese?
As a people, we’ve put up with so much these past three decades.
We must reclaim our sense of outrage, esteem and dignity if our lives should matter in the way the Emperor’s cattle do.
Otherwise it won’t be long before one among those of us who are still alive suffer a similar fate in this unending cycle of the ruling junta’s violence.
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