By Lydiah Namayengo
I have silently observed the continuous condemnation by various stakeholders and citizens put on Prof. Apolo Nsibambi a former Ugandan Prime Minister over his selection of a daughter to be his heir which I strongly condemn and do not agree with.
First of all, I am staunch Muganda by tribe who has served my king and the kingdom in various capacities and a mentor to young people in the same kingdom; therefore I truly love and respect my king, the kingdom, its beliefs and values.
But as a human rights activist and an advocate for sustainable development goals, I do not think that selecting a girl is a wrong decision because the various legal frameworks support girls in inheritance as well.
For example, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the 1995 Constitution of Uganda all provide for equality among all people regardless of sex and also provides for us a right to inheritance no matter whether u are a girl or a boy, a man or woman.
It is also a violation of the the SDG No. 4 Gender Equality that is part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as declared by UN to which Uganda is a signatory where we have also been pushing for equality between both men and women at all levels.
Inheritance is also not just about what culture says or societal pressure, but its about someone’s responsibility, discipline, focus, ability to pursue your goals and also unite the family.
Inheritance is about selecting someone who is responsible in everything that he or she does but rather not about the sex of the heir.
Parents give birth to children, raise them and they observe them throughout their life till they get married or even die. So they know your skills, and how responsible u have been towards the various tasks allocated.
A parent would therefore choose someone that has been responsible and will continue to be responsible over the others. For example to pay school fees for the young ones or even ensure they have gone to school, they are healthy and will be there for them when they need him/ her no matter what their sex is!
Inheritance should be about someone who understands u as a parent, ur interests, goals and values that u believe in regardless of your sex. Parents should be able to choose children that will push their Legacy forward, push their goals and promote ur interests as a business man, a leader plus your property and every thing that u held so dear in your life.
Inheritance is about someone that can SAY NO to the irrational and unthoughtful decisions that other people, family members and friends would like to do Eg the need to sell family property, discriminating other children and some people in the family. So the heir should be some someone that will come out to boldly fight against those irrational decisions no matter whether she is a girl or boy.
Inheritance is about choosing a person who can unite the family and avoid or fight against any family conflicts and divisions either among the children, other family members or relatives no matter whether its a boy or a girl.
Staying together as a family is very key even after the death of your parents, so a parent should select a heir that he/she thinks will still keep the children and family united together irrespective of whether its a boy or girl therefore I support Prof. Nsibambi.
Inheritance is also about discipline, humility and behavior. Parents usually watch their children in regards to how they behave, the discipline they have, submissiveness and how humble they are no matter what your sex is. Parents should choose a heir that is very well disciplined, and humble that can instil discipline and values among the young ones, but not a person who will abuse the elders, minimise them, plus other children thus conflicts.
Dear parents, I call upon you all to spare time and raise well your children to become important and responsible citizens in the world.
I also call upon u parents not to fear to choose your due to culture and societal pressure but choose someone that u think and feel will push your legacy forward.
I call upon the various cultural leaders to support to allow rational flexibility in our cultural values and beliefs as long as they do not violate out norms.
I call upon the various human rights activists to come out and fight against discrimination of the girl child as well as continuous promotion of gender inequality. Let us all push for #SDGNo4GenderEquality of all people.