Small Beginnings

Emma-Writes

High School
Quite an interesting yet peculiar place to be. I remember vividly entering the gates of an uncharted destination. In my young mind, my parents had grown weary of me and needed me out of their lives for a while. I was never open to the idea, but had little to no say in the matter. And I hated to break my mom’s heart. So I gave in and like a sheep being led to the slaughter house, I was at the starting point of a rather interesting journey that I would look back on as I write this from the discomfort of my bed today.
I was a not so big boy in my Form One. Used to the ease of having my mother take care of me, it was an uphill task adjusting to this new concept of freedom. I remember learning the school mission before understanding…

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“Get a hobby. Chase a dram..distract yourself.” Good advice on fighting depression.

EmaWrites

Conversations with my Depression at 3am

Intro

This is the most depressing thing I’ve written yet. I don’t know who else has had a cocktail of both insomnia and depression. This is what my mind says to me at 3am in the night. My next publications after this one I promise will be much happier 😂😊

DP: What’s your name?

ME: Ema son of Babikwa.

DP: What are you doing up this late?

ME: I don’t know. I’m thinking. I don’t know what I’m doing.

DP: You are sad. You look sad. Why are you sad?

ME: I don’t know why I’m sad. It just happens.

DP: Is it because you feel alone?

ME: I’m always alone at this time of night. So it’s not about that.

DP: Are you broke? Do you need money?

ME: Honestly, I don’t know why you’re even asking that. Well, I’m not rich per…

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The President is Missing- A Book Review

Good review. The Ugandan bit caught me off-guard.

colmansmusings

“Everything electronic can be hacked.”

The benefits of the digital age in the 21st century have been widely publicised and even felt. More than ever before, the world is increasingly embracing the use of the internet in daily life from business, finance, tourism, shopping, communication, transport, defence and security to mention but a few. While the human race prepares to embrace the internet of things and progress from the fourth to the fifth industrial revolution, reliance on the internet can only be excpected to increase.

However, even as we increasingly embrace technology and the internet in our day to day lives, the threat to personal privacy and global security has not been as widely appreciated or even documented. Personally, I get the feeling that this is something we would rather not think about because we do not want to fathom how greatly exposed we are to the ugly side of…

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WHAT’S THIS AT MAKERERE UNIVERSITY?! The week that was, Makerere saw the birth of the “letter boy”, no one pens down tremors of intimidations and threats on headed paper like the seating VC. A read of the suspension letters he issued to a number of students can only bring to life the scene in Roots where Kunta Kinte’s back-flesh was shredded by the colonizers because he had refused to take on Toby as his label. The suspensions, interestingly are a retaliation to a GRCs word fight; just like a typical dictator he seized the moment and perceived it a threat to his reign, to silence his dissidents he served them with a sizzle of intimidations for an appertiser and suspensions for the main course . Like the dark plague, he couldn’t wait to pounce on those who were loud at saying nay to his iron hand. The pen is better than a sword until the pen is used as a sword. A critical thinker has a conscience at rest when they set themselves to investigate thoroughly the different degrees of certain; probable, plausible and possible aspects of these suspensions. It wouldn’t be an unlike notion to argue that the chaos was a theatric to justify a crackdown on or to keep at bay those political trouble makers and non conforming students that have proved to be critical to the administration’s shortcomings. The VC in that moment thought himself a Black Panther, for all intent, he thought the principles of natural justice were another black costume he could just override. “Inciting violence” was what ticked the green creature in him, a blanket kindergarten rhyme that we have contunially heard the police sing while they are heinously brutalising Opposition figures. The rhyme is so assaulting to the ear more so when it’s being sung by a learned Professor. To say that I am not contending the fact that he and his advisors did not oblige to the Principles of Natural Justice as laid down in the Constitution of Uganda and the very many court decisions with shockingly Mak being a party to quite a number (Bwowe & Ors V Muk & ors, Jet Tumwebaze v Muk, Twinamasiko case etc.) would be a betrayal to my intellect. To the very least it is about the politics of the matter. The spider that bite me seems to have webbed around the paragraph in the nuc-letters that reads in part and I quote; “..You have continuously posted inflammatory and derogatory messages on social media, calling for defiance and acts that could cause injury to persons and property to Makerere University” The VC has long proven to be one such leader that does his ruling on social media, not that it is a bad thing, the psychopath in the white house does the same thing too. Explains why most of those letters were hung up on his social media like multi-colored lights on a Christmas tree. His leadership is known for nesting a swarm of his handlers that use the official social media platforms of the University to hurl insults at those he doesn’t not approve of or those that do not approve of him. The irony here is that that official account is pointing a stained finger at others, accusing them of inflammatory language. That not with standing be, as an individual he is gifted by the Constitution under Article 29 with freedom of speech. The discrepancy would therefore be that the individual/office of the Vice Chancellor is undertaking a crackdown on media at the University, particularly the media that is not ready to celebrate his unpopular decisions. The suspension of an ever increasing number of students, is a direct confrontation of the freedom of speech of others as he amassed to himself a great chunk of the same. Isn’t it strange that one of the suspended students was not physically present at the coined “scene of the crime”? His only crime was to virtually commentate about the unfoldings of the GRC meeting on social media. The actions were therefore malicious and long premeditated. “He was pulled over because of his skin color ” . Shockingly the VC is a member of many Watsapp groups and has one of the most active twitter handles on the Hill let on in the country. How selfish for a seemingly social media-savvy person to curtail his fellow media users. The law Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda protects the freedom of Speech and expression which also include the freedom of Press and other media. It also tightly shields Academic Freedom from being trampled by stating that there shall be academic freedom in institutions of learning. Similary Article 17 provides the duties of a good citizen to include the respecting the freedoms of others. These provisions have gained notoriety in courts of law, the academia and in all civilized places. The recent decision by the Constitutional Court in the Age Limit Petition was also effectual in uplifting the freedom of speech and expression. Even when government is uncomfortable with the exercise of those rights. There is no decision that gave a clear interpretation of that Article than that of Onyango Obbo & Another V Attorney General in which Justice Mulenga stated: “freedom of expression as being the cornerstone of every society that is democratically governed…….., Uganda chose a path of democratic governance and therefore she has a duty to protect the rights regarding the free flow of information, free debate and open discussion of issue,……this means that our society must learn to accommodate a wide variety of views, beliefs etc., even if such beliefs are repugnant and contrary to our own.” The learned Justice of the Supreme Court stipulated that for such freedoms to be limited the limitation must be demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society. Those Justifications should as well be necessary and proportional. The actions of the Office of the VC infringed every spirit of Articles 29, 43, 20 and so forth. To make matters worse they were done in an institution of learning where latitude for academic freedom is permitted expressly. This means therefore anything for as long as it is not prejudicial to the Public interests can pass as exercise of academic freedom at the hill. Again Public interest is to be interpreted with a bias to that who wields power and should not include personal ego. One would wonder the kind of leaders Mak is training when they are being taught to act arbitrarily and disregard freedoms of others. Universities all over the world are Free Spaces for discourse on a range of issues even those considered to be detrimental to the people in power. Makerere has enjoyed these freedom for so long even in the midst of the 1970s dictatorship. They cannot now be curtailed for the comfort of the University administrators. When you are in positions of leadership, you are by default subjected to public scrutiny, stop being intimidated by dissent. Freedom of speech must not be tampered with at Muk, it could be the only remaining Lung of freedom. If these high handed actions are not expunged from the University, the long term effect will be all over this country.

In Uganda

This is my country where freedoms are just on a piece of paper nothing more! you express them, you’re wrong! yes , the government and your fellow oppressed will condemn you to the grave. it matters not whether your cause is a genuine one for all. It matters not how hurt you are or tortured your face looks. They will say you did not follow the law. You were on a selfish mission they say, it is about you. They forget, that just like the majority, you cannot get quality healthcare without huge sums. Quality  Education is for those with deep pockets. And what remains of the poor is matter of fact the poorest.

It causes one to stop and ponder- who gains if we all keep mum? Us the oppressed or the oppressor? what is then the trade value for our silence? is it peace, development, freedom, is it better health facilities or freedom of association! In my country, a few will struggle for the reins, many on the fence with judgement, a few on the wheel and certainly majority in the wagon. Self perfectionism feels our fellow oppressed who are convinced it is well on their part. Never will the biblical “first remove a speck from your eye” speak to them. they are learned, have some comfort, yeah! a lot seems to be okay.

In Uganda, you speak, you are mad, you demonstrate- you are crazy. You go to the bush- you are a rebel, well, you win, you set the rules and they all praise your heroism.