By Robert Mugoya
For the past one week or so, our mainstream and other media outlets have been awash with stories on an incident that recently occurred in the outskirts of Kampala, involving one of the favorite cabinet ministers of President Museveni.
The Minister is no other than the drama queen, the untouchable Aida Erios Nantaba, the State Minister in the Ministry of ICT. Now because of this woman, two young girls will not have a future, such as a doting father had already figured out for them.
For those who have not been following, on the afternoon of March 24, news broke that the aforesaid Minister had survived an assassination by men riding on a motorcycle. It was being reported that the police had put one of the purported ‘gunmen’ out of action.
All kinds of praise was showered on the “super-woman”, and the policemen that “had swung into action” to eliminate the “assassin”. Everyone would have gone with the story, had it not been for the ordinary citizens who witnessed the whole incident as it played out.
They not only quickly debunked the attention-seeker that Nantaba is, they also outed the police that had summarily executed an innocent man whose hands already in handcuffs.
All the eyewitnesses at Nagojje Trading Center saw what happened to the victim Ronald Ssebulime, whom Nantaba and Police would attempt to portray as a would-be assassin. Ssebulime only was a single father carrying a backpack in which he carried eats, snacks and some scholastic materials for his two children.
They killed him as he was on his way to visit his two daughters: one in senior one, the other in senior three.
Just like that the girls were left without a parent, a defender, and a provider, basically their everything. He died because Nantaba, the drama queen, apple’s eye of Museveni decided to call the police – of Nagalama – on him, even when her own guards saw no danger in his movements, and left him alone.
Ssebulime died when trigger-happy cops executed him, because one thing they are guaranteed of in Museveni’s Uganda is total impunity.
As evidence became overwhelming that the criminal police had perpetrated another crime on an innocent citizen, they were cornered. Even they could not cover up this crime. The witnesses were just too many and stuck to telling the story of the events they saw. So police decided to go into PR overdrive, retracted the story, and admitted they had assassinated the wrong man.
Now the latest is that “Police are stuck”; that they cannot proceed with the investigation. Reason? The minister, who is reputed to have more than “Museveni’s ear”, “cannot answer their summons” to help with the investigation.
In a letter that everyone has seen – complete with the official letterhead of the ministry of ICT – the untouchable Nantaba tells the Criminal Investigations Directorate that she has been asked by President Museveni not to answer to the summons.
What this woman is saying basically is that she is above the law, and that it is Museveni that has placed her above the law.
So there is no justice for Ronald Ssebulime. His family, his young girls are left in limbo, with no hope for justice – because the head of state of Uganda has undermined the rule of law. It is sadly familiar. Rule of law in Uganda died long ago.
You have generals beating up innocent policewomen doing their job on our dilapidated roads. You have ministers abusing duly mandated members of commissions of enquiry that dare question their questionable dealings. There are ministers toting AK 47 rifles while looking after their cows.
You can go on and on.
The only role President Museveni expects of his corrupt judicial system is to persecute only those he perceives to be enemies. He has turned the police and other armed services into his personal militia groups. The media has become an appendage to the regime, complicit in most of its crimes.
No wonder then that even when it all was clearly established that police had murdered an innocent man, there are all these conspiracy theories cropping up in the disgraceful media outlets – mainly those of the regime-owned New Vision Group – with the aim to tarnish the good name of the late Ssebulime.
The sources these papers – mainly New Vision and Bukedde – are quoting are from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), the notorious agency that will stop at nothing to entrench Museveni’s life-presidency.
Ssebulime’s demise should therefore not be looked at in isolation. It is part of an established pattern.
There have been so many other Ssebulimes whose lives have been cut short by this regime, making one wonder: when is it time for people to say enough is enough? The casual manner in which this whole thing is being handled is telling and appalling, to say the least.
The mainstream media – which has clearly been compromised by the regime – has resorted to sideshows, instead of playing their rightful duty of trying to connect the dots in the murder and link it to similar incidents orchestrated by this regime.
The clues are all there for the media to do its job; but no! They will actually prey on these defenseless children to the extent of using the story for an April Fool’s Day prank, with fake stories that Museveni had sacked Nantaba and pledged reparations for the children.
Uganda under Museveni has become a truly appalling place where common decency went out the window long ago.
Everyone that’s complicit in Museveni’s misrule seems to know us we are easily taken for granted. They only are waiting for another story, and life will move on. The question every Ugandan should be asking is: until when?
Have we become so hopeless to this extent?
Ssebulime could be you, or it could be me. We simply cannot allow to be defiled by this regime in perpetuity!
We have the means at our disposal to put an end to this.