Where value of life is determined by economics

“In school you get the lesson and then take the test… In life you take the test and then get the lesson.”
— Unknown Source

How is a problem in your life really an opportunity?

Problems invite us to go inside to recognize a bigger picture of ourselves and of life. This bigger picture brings meaning to what is unfolding.

When you feel trapped in a problem, see if you can shift your perspective. Ask yourself, “What am I being invited to learn from this situation?” The answer will always revolve around a quality or value, like gratitude, freedom, compassion, love, will, humour or acceptance. The answer will also always promote union rather than separation.

As soon as we find the meaning in our challenge, our resistance to it melts away. Often, awareness of the lesson is all that is needed to resolve the problem. If not, the awareness brings us courage and ways to work through it.

This week has been a great mental challenge to me, with emotions ranging between rage and disgruntled acceptance of the injustices met out to those most vulnerable in the global system.  Not long after witnessing a clip involving an armed protestor outside a factory in which he had been working. He had suffered an industrial accident that had cost him some of his fingers leaving him with infected stumps that still required medical/surgical treatment he couldn’t afford. For his peaceful means of protests, the owners of the factory called some rogue police officers who descended upon him brutally to beat him up before bundling him away to some police post.  It is anyone’s guess as to what else was done to him when they finally got him where cameras couldn’t show.

Mukwano Industries of Uganda by name prides itself in being a friendly company going by the interpretation of the meaning of mukwano in the commonly spoken Luganda language in Uganda.  Mukwano Ind. showed no mercy or friendship to this ex-employee when it stood by allowing dog-like police officers to administer such brutality on this man no doubt as payback for daring protest to bring to light the paltry compensation settled for his injuries sustained on their work premises.  When the spokesperson for Mukwano Industries finally graced the media after almost a week had passed – he not only failed to comment on the conduct of the his company’s actions in relation to the call-out police’s actions but blamed the ex-employee for being the aggressor.  A smear campaign was soon initiated by the unions which are supposed to be defenders of workers. Your guess as to who was bankrolling their stance.  Incidentally the police officers who were called to man-handle this  man (Suuna) for some reason opted to operate out of their jurisdiction.

Thing that bugs me the most is that so many accidents happen and will no doubt continue to happen in such companies similar to Mukwano Industries in Uganda. One is left to question if any safety reports or checks have ever been done in relation to any cited or reported accidents – and the viability of their sincerity if they were done.  But the real reason as to why such companies or persons feel they can do as they please is down to the country’s lack of enforcing it’s legislature of virtually any laws.

The main cancer is that of corruption where officials are paid off in exchange of ‘brown envelopes’ to cover up unsafe practice, intolerable cruelty and abuse of workers  which sometimes even leads to loss of lives.  The lives of people are only valued in respects to their economic viability. If you are an investor or can pass yourself off as one in Uganda, you can do just about anything and get away with it.

No sooner had my spirits gotten used to this harsh cruel reality on hand, than when reports of a gang-rape of a young lady come by me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUfcyNjCvNk

Now don’t get me wrong. Rape is rape – no matter who or where it happens. Lord knows absolute horrors are done by fellow Uganda men on fellow women etc. The anger that this rape elicited was from the excuse the police officers who this helpless young woman ran to for help and justice gave her before accepting a bribe and shelving her report of the account that took place. This raised history of a gang rape case involving a young male not long back in a Kampala suburb again involving Asian perpetrators who in a similar manner were also allowed to get off scot-free leaving the the victim to suffer in agonized silence – to date.  No follow up was made of this young man to date…  So pardon me for not mincing my words when I advocate for Ugandans to boycott investors who rape!  This is the excuse paraded to victims that have suffered at the hands of corrupt officers when their reported cases have been spirited off and justice remains an unattained dream.

Well; out of the ashes, rebirth happens. The genesis of raising awareness to persons over their rights as human beings.  Sexual offenses shouldn’t be blamed on victims any more than rapists should be glorified with excuses. (Yes sadly, there’s still some way to go in Uganda to educate persons that rape is not the fault of the victim!) It is time to raise this awareness and educate persons to differentiate between consensual acts and forced or coerced acts. To raise awareness in how grooming persons occurs in relation to the existing economic factors that are fertile ground. To demystify the laws regarding sexual offenses in Uganda in relation to all walks of life ranging from abuse of trust by care-workers/teachers/guardian/employers, to human trafficking of persons in to sex-related slavery.  Ignorance and economics is what those who exploit, thrive on…

For me, this is the opportunity that has come out of the challenging events on ground in Uganda.


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