Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Smokers Too Have Rights

In Uganda we have very little respect for safety. Four people will ride on one boda and we will cram as many people as possible into a pick-up.
But not Asian man. When it comes to taking his family on an outing on his Bajaj, he makes sure that it is only he that will wear a crash helmet. “F**k the wife and kid, they don’t really need them because their lives are not as important as mine” so he probably tells himself.   
Moving on, David Bahati is an MP and as an MP he has a duty to make certain utterances – some which I am in agreement with and other not.
For example he wants it to be illegal to be a homosexual. I can see where he is coming from because while I was still at school, I went to a boy’s only school. In the showers, I saw all kind of butts – tight ones, saggy ones, perky ones but NEVER ever did I look at them and think: “Wow Tom has a nice small butt and I would not mind getting a piece of him.”
And the mere thought that out there they could be a man who has seen the shape of my butt and he drools whenever I walk past him, makes me want to puke. So yes, the utterances Bahati has made do make sense to me.
Then he went and spoilt it all. A few weeks ago, I was invited to a tobacco stakeholders meeting at Serena hotel. .
Bahati along with a certain Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, who is also a MP intend to table a bill that will curb the rights of we smokers. And before I get into the nitty gritty, let me say this. The tobacco industry like any other industry needs to be regulated and while we all know the side effects of smoking, it is not illegal.
It is also not illegal for a farmer to grow tobacco, nor is it illegal for the tobacco industry to turn the tobacco leaf into cigarettes. What is illegal, is for shop keepers to sell cigarettes to minors and for tobacco companies to advertise.
Therefore, why would Bahati and Baryomunsi want to step on my toes and that of other smokers by tabling such a bill?
Well here is the answer. As politicians, Bahati and Baryomunsi are answerable to an electorate. Come the next elections, when they are asked what they did, they can safely say: “We made it illegal for people to smoke in public” and that might just get them the votes to be returned to parliament.
So what do we smokers have to do to make sure that the bill fails? Well I thought of abducting the pair and taking them to a torture chamber and pulling out their nails with a pair of pliers.
In reality that can’t work. However, when we have the Smoking Party at Club Silk next week, I know who I won’t be inviting.  

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