By Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira
As police stops us from holding duwah (prayers) organized by the people of Wandegeya in thanking the Almighty for saving my life, tear gas and bullets rock the entire area.
Tough and mean looking men in police uniform unleash force onto the thousands in attendance and in a few minutes, I find myself onto a waiting police pick up. How I get there, buuza maneja because at some point I nearly faint,thanks to the taxpayers money that buys teargas and and fails to stock enough medicine in our sick hospitals.
As if transferring Joseph Kony to the International Criminal Court, am driven at a breakneck speed to Wandegeya police station. I can see from their faces, the discomfort some police officers are having in taking me in.
Not for lunch.Am “now under preventive arrest, sijui order from above, we are working on your file, unlawful assembly” blah blah…
Tired and exhausted, I place my sick self to an old bench where suspects are recorded on arrival. As I think about what happened to that part of the world called the Pearl of Africa where freedom of worship is now a crime, a skinny medium height officer walks with a swag into where am seated.Saliva drop out of his mouth whenever he speaks!
“Mr.President….Haj Kazibwe how are you sir?”
He asks as he leans towards me, of course leaving my hands with drops of saliva.
“Am very well bwana”
I tell him with my eyes fixed to his old face.
“Are you sure?”
“Why not if am in hands of very happy people like you?”
I respond and this is a direct invitation to his anger and wrath
“Kazibwe…. Kazibwe.. you seem to be a responsible young man, Why do you want to create problems to yourself. Do you think you can be more powerful than…”
He shakes his head in disgust. He looks at me with that look of a lion that’s about to get it’s prey and at some point I think the he’s gonna bite!!
I clear my throat and in a tired broken voice I gather this to the this officer who is in his late fiftees.
I call for his attention in respect.
“Am not here because am in the wrong, but because it’s a wrong place for me.
People want to silence us because they want the truth to be kept secret and it hurts..
Mutukutte nemutuleeta wano naye temulina kyemugenda kutukola okujjako okutukiriza tuddeyo ewaka oba okutusiba…
Afande, am ready for any of the two, after all some one wanted me dead.
They are filling our blood with poison but we need to spread peace to their lives,to yours and mine
Officer, How do you feel when you watch the news we bring to you on T? Are the stories we present on radio giving you happiness and comfort, at least for your children?
Do we lie when we talk about those stealing medicine from health centers?
Mukama wange, as a journalist, have I lied when I report about corruption that has rendered you go unpaid for months only to depend on a handful of half baked beans and posho?
Kakati naye ddala Officer, what crime do I commit when i speak for the…….”
As I go on , the attentive police officer whose eyes are turning red with a watery substance (ebiyengeyenge) is disrupted by a loud call from his senior in the opposite office to which he responds :
He slowly and humbly gathers his broken self out of the room, looking at me with a sad mournful face throwing his feet as he walks away. Not with the swag he came with!
After a long wait am taken into the process of preparing for a police bond which I receive after several hours hours of moving office to office, back and forth.Am to report back this Wednesday 26th June 2019.
Amongst my wishlist for Wednesday are the following;
*1 That I get to see that officer “friend of mine” and find out what he thinks about what I said. by the way does he still walk with the swag, or he it disappeared?
*2 That police doesn’t find this article unlawful according to the computer misuse act.. simanya bikoze bitya.
*3 That am not taken behind bars for annoying a serving police officer. If this happens, I would gladly get more “Work” since there’s a lot that happens behind there.
Haj Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira is the Uganda Journalists Association President