Are the youths in Uganda being groomed well by the elders?
When you open a newspaper in Uganda, I bet the front pages will be filled with something about corruption. It has become part of our society and one may be misled to believe it is the only vice affecting us. Reality check; We have many other horrible vices… rape, alcohol abuse, theft, armed robberies, violation of human rights, suicide, reckless driving e.t.c. While they may seem negligible, their cumulative effect is very detrimental to our society!
Intriguing is that many of these cases go unreported for reasons best known to the victims, thus many of the official statistics released by Police are actually lower than the reality. The fear of opening up has left many people (especially youth of ‘campus age’ though even other age brackets do possess this fear) traumatised with no one to confide in. Where are we getting it wrong? Is it because the ‘adults’ and ‘elites’ have been taken up by politics and forgotten that there is a generation which needs grooming before it can fit in their shoes? Dont these ‘elites’ need to revisit their priorities and dedicate more time to their sons and daughters?
I am not a parent but parenting is a core of any persons behaviour. I am who I am because I always looked up to my parents for inspiration even without telling them. The relationship between parents and children, though usually over looked by most fathers, is one of the most important things a child needs. The fear of crossing paths with parents has left most of the youth in an age of secrecy which usually does more harm than good. Stories were always told of strict parents who always locked their kids at home to prevent them from doing things they may regret later in life. Little did these parents know that the moment these children get a sniff of independence, all hell would break loose and lots of ‘fun’ would be had to cover up for the lost time! You can guess the outcome of their behaviours!!!
I recently heard of a story of a campus girl who was raped by her friend. The moron took her out, then instead of dropping her at her hostel, he drove to his home and raped her, breaking her virginity. The poor girl was traumatised but she feared to report to police because she believes that the moron had connections and more to that, she feared it would get back to her parents and she would fail to explain what she was doing with him in the middle of the night. It is this fear that will always affect the children who lack that intimate relationship with their parents. I expect this unfortunate and barbaric incident to affect her view of the male species. It may even affect her in her matrimony life while this moron may continue terrorising other innocent and unsuspecting girls!
I have also read a story of a UCU student who committed suicide after being gang-raped and her husband-to-be broke up the engagement after the incident thus compelling her to take her life.
Just 2 weeks back, some girls were arrested in Lyantode after being caught engaging in sexual acts with village residents. They were believed to be S.4 students in a local school there.
Rosebell Kagumiire, on her blog, says she contacted a friend about the violence faced by women and this is what he had to say; ““I think the matter can be followed up from Police side to see if we can see what police has done, any arrests and investigations. If nothing has been done (like I highly suspect), we can see how to raise this as a case of negligence and call police to act. Am surprised and shocked that it is not featuring anywhere in the 16 days of activism and am close to pointing fingers on why? Where is Fida, Uwonet and the numerous women organizations in this country? What are they doing about it? Can they do anything about it? Can they hire private investigators to get evidence?”. This was after The Observer published a story (see here ) about a RedPepper sub-editor who committed suicide after being gang raped.
Shame on all these rapers and it’s a pity they are walking scot free somewhere out there, probably looking for other victims!!!
Are these the kind of people we want to lead us 20-30 years from today? Will we (the youth) produce children when we grow up and successfully instill good morals in them? Aren’t you (the adults) putting focus on politics and corruption thus forgetting the ernomous task of grooming us?
Politics are the core of any society. The bills passed by Parliament, or laws put in effect by the President (or his representatives) or even those enforced by police have an effect on everyone in the country. Even the ‘peasant’ in the village tilling his garden is affected though he may not know it. Meaning that leadership contributes a lot to our growth. However much growing up in a corruption-full society has already been harmful, the other vices just worsen the situation. So where does the solution lie? Is it our parents? Teachers & lecturers? Or it is the government? Or maybe maturing is a natural process and these youths should be left to mature by themselves?
Right from the birth of a child, the parents are in charge. In all cases, the behaviour of a child is shaped by the morals of the parents (or caretakers). When these children go to school (primary, secondary and finally university), the eyes of these children are opened up and they then are shaped by the behaviours of their peers and those of their teachers/lecturers. The cumulative effect of all these friendships is finally felt when these former children, now adults, have grown up. Their next behaviour and character is undoubtedly a product of all this. However, when they grow up seeing their lecturers demand for sex in order to give marks, do you expect them to behave any differently when they become lecturers? If their teachers (and parents) drink & smoke, would you blame them if they started doing the same?
So, is it possible that each stakeholder can put more values at each level where they are responsible? The government, being the overall in-charge of everything that happens within the borders of the country, needs to also start thinking of these youths. Legislations against most of these barbaric behaviours do exist. What lacks is implementation. Even when an attempt at implementation is made, the mandated implementors are the ones who end up breaking the rules knowing that they are untouchables.
Police Annual Crime Report of 2011 records 463 cases of rape, 7542 cases of defilement and 9343 cases of Domestic Violence. If you ask this same police whether the number of cases reported corresponds to the number of offenders in jail, you will most likely get a negative answer.
A blind eye towards the occurances in our country is very disastrous. Reliance on official reports from police, however high the number of criminal cases in the reports may be, actually depicts less than exaxtly what is on the ground. Structures, that reach grassroots, need to be instituted. Right upto families, a mechanism that keeps an eye on a community is necessary to ensure the safety of the youth.
This is why I applaud the church for its efforts in trying to seek out everyone. On a daily basis will you hear fellowship for the marrieds, for the youth, for the singles, for the students, for the campusers e.t.c. These Churches go ahead to provide counsellors for their flock. Cases of some ‘wrong pastors’ are existent but that doesnt make the whole idea a sham. Their contribution to the growth of a morally upright society with vibrant youth is intangible. Their activities shouod be strengthened, and even duplicated to increase their coverage.
Let us not only raise our voices on political issues. Let the vigilance of those who are watching also cover issues like these. Dont be blinded by politics but also issues that affect those who cant report to police
FACT: Unless you groom us (the youth), all you have built will be crushed once you are no longer in charge. Your legacies will be destroyed!
For God and my country
@jobaze (on twitter)
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