Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Minister Roland Kibuule - Woman's Best Advocate

From the onset, let’s just get once thing clear. Minister Ronald Kibuule (Below) has done a lot for the advancement of womanhood in Uganda when he slapped Female Askari, so let not throw stones at him!

When I was growing up, the message being peddled by Parent, Aunt, Uncle and School Teacher is that if you didn’t work hard enough and pass your exams, you will end up at the bottom off the heap. You will amount to no good and end up being House Boy, Driver or Askari – and not Engineer, Doctor or say Lawyer.

I had no problems with ending up at the bottom of the heap because as a ten-year-old, my ambitions were not outlandish. I really wanted to be Driver because at school, the way Driver drove the school bus as he too us swimming was something to marvel at. He knew how to turn corners and make it look all sexy. He knew how to look at the pretty ladies and when to honk and not to honk at them. As a ten-year-old, he was super cool and it was he who invented ‘swag’ way before he even knew he was inventing swag.

Obviously I didn’t end up a driver – no because I lost steam for the job, but because I got a lecture and hot slaps from Parent when I mentioned it to them. Whenever we went visiting and Parents were swinging lectures, many not so kind words were frequently hurled at House Boy, Driver or Askari.

But wait a minute. At home we had them all so, if they were at the bottom of the heap and there to be ridiculed and abused, then why did we need them? House Boy made sure I had clean clothes to wear every day and that lunch was ready and on time. Driver always got me to school on time and whilst I was asleep at night, Askari made sure that Thief didn’t break into the house.

Some years back, Official from Ministry of Finance in a Toyota Tundra was trying to park is ride near the Coca Cola depot in Kabalgala. When Askari guarding the depot sough to help him out, Official stopped the rife and not only barked at him, but slapped him with abuse after abuse along the lines of – “You think I am stupid. Do you know where I work to be driving such a car? No wonder you are stupid and that is why you are an askari.  When Special Hire Driver tried to intervene, he too got the same treatment.

Askari and Special Hire Driver withdrew and let Official be. No need to guess that he reversed the Tundra into a huge drainage. Obviously when he got out, he sought help from Special Hire Driver who was quick to quip: “Me I am stupid. I am only Special Hire Driver” and walked away.

Then there is Minister. Minister and virtue of his job title, feels that he has arrived. He feels that he is no longer on the same footing as the rest of the populous. He feels that when he is being driven home, Wanainchi have to go off the road because he is Minister. He expects that when he goes shopping, he can jump the check queue because he is Minister. And that’s just the top of the iceberg.

So when Minister Ronald Kibuule went to do some banking at Stanbic in Mukono, he went there ‘expecting’. He went there expecting to ballet himself into the bank without being searched because his is Minister. So when Female Askari stopped him and requested he be searched he couldn’t believe how incredulously stupid she could be. He IS Minister and she had committed a crime that was short of treason, blasphemous and abusing the office of the minister.

So He goofed her. Let’s not pretend. He is not one of us. He is a minister and one who was appointed by the president. He thus has every just right to slap whoever he wants to slap even Female Askari. He is the minister for Water and Fisheries who has many state matters on his mind and the last thing he needs is lowly Female Askari asking that he be searched just like everybody else before he entered the bank?

What on earth was she thinking? I am sure that after that incident, minister Kibuule thinks mighty highly of himself and is perhaps hoping that the powers that be will commend him for the effective hot slaps he effected. He is the type of minister to go bragging to his colleagues at Parliament what it felt like to slap Female Askari. I am so impressed with him what I would want have a poster of him in my room that reads: ‘Minister Kibuule likes to slap women’.

But alas, maybe I shouldn’t have said all that because I am of the opinion that Minister Kibuule, after reading this, wouldn’t have grasped that I put him through the mincemeat grinder and have been belittling him all along. He is also the sort of Minister who would not have read the sarcasm in what I wrote and walked into the offices of FIDA, or any women’s organisation that deals with domestic violence against women and proudly say: “I don’t see what the fuss is all about. Have you read this column?”

But the tragedy of it all - like it is with so many other ministerial scandals is that, he is Minister so what else did we expect but for the saga to be swept under the rug?

Pictures: New Vision

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