“Leave issues of Generals to Generals,” is a phrase that has on several occasions been used by Generals whenever questioned by civilians about questionable dealings.
Sometimes, you cannot leave issues of Generals to Generals. Early this month it was a bodaboda chap who came to the rescue of former Commander of the Defence Forces General Katumba Wamala after a failed assassination attempt that claimed his daughter and driver.
Katumba who sustained bullet wounds was taken to a nearby clinic on the same bodaboda with his bodyguard. This boda man didn’t leave issues of Generals to Generals. Oftentimes, bodabodas are impounded for “overloading” when carrying two passengers. We all know that it is in most cases not a desire but a circumstance that makes two people ride on the same boda boda. A govenrment that works for people should have an affordable transport system in place, but that’s besides today’s topic. Today, its about emergency life saving rescue.
Sometime back, I chatted with a Ugandan who had just bought a home in London and he told me that one of the many reasons he preferred UK to his motherland Uganda is that in Uganda, death is cheap. “In Europe, you are likely to survive many of the things that kill Ugandans if they are to do with accidents and emergency health situations.”
I believe every Ugandan has seen people who have surrounded an accident victim on the roadside, watching life slip through their body. Uganda teri ayamba 😭
Now, imagine General Katumba was not easily recognisable and was just a normal Ugandan lying helplessly on the road. Maybe the boda guys might or might not have rescued him. Either way, even him who is high up in government, a Minister of Works and Transport couldn’t access emergency govenrment rescue. I used to think that government yatwerabila but I now know that government byelina okola yabyelabira.
In 1986 or thereabouts, one of the programmes we used to enjoy watching on then UTV (now UBC) was Rescue 911. It is a programme that documented how American families lives were saved by just dialing 911. You were guaranteed response on dialing 911. 35 years after the NRM took power, which number can a Ugandan dial for emergency response??? And if it is there, who has dialed it and been rescued.
During the period of the President’s swearing in, fighter jets patrolled Kampala’s air space, as if there was a threat of any nature. It was the same situation during the 2016 swearing in. These jets are more of a display of military might, like tickling yourself and you laugh!
These jets if brand new cost in the region of $40m to $75m each. Now if the Generals are serious about the lives of the people they lead, can’t one of these jets be sacrificed for a fleet of air rescue choppers???
And also, since the assasins and other criminals use boda bodas to easily get away, how about equipping the police’s aviation unit with crime fighting choppers. With our cameras and choppers in the air, the assasins would have nowhere to run, just like some of the criminals we have watched on international news channels being pursued by choppers in the western world.
Again, it is just sacrificing one or two fighter jets to roll out a programme like this one!!!!!!
Anyway, let me leave issues of Generals to Generals. My prayer for a future government is a government that works for its citizens. Its very possible to fix Uganda if there is a combination of the will and right brains in decision making.
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