Dear Members of Parliament, Ministers local government officials, permanent secretaries and all you big people that push us off the road with police escorts during rush hour traffic jam.
I hope you can use this social distancing time to do some soul-searching. For years, you have paid yourselves high salaries and allowances knowing well that what you do is not as important as that of essential workers. You used your power to influence more salaries and allowance for yourselves and to travel endlessly to International meetings whose results we barely see.
You used your money to build high walls and buy big black cars while turning your backs on doctors, teachers, policemen, market vendors and all of the essential workers- noble women and men who hold the country in their hands as your non-essential work got rewarded for what it did not deserve.
As you might have realized, the novel coronavirus is not selective. It has easily found its way in palaces and presidential compounds – there is something democratic about it- the mathematics of this virus show that it will continue to spread.
Unfortunately for you this time, you will not fly to India, Germany, the UK or the fancy places you run to when you catch a cold. You neglected the health centres in your constituencies- you called them facilities for those local people you did not think that one day if you had pushed for a decent health facility with ICU facilities it would save you it in such unprecedented times.
You have sold our country to short-term gains and deals while enriching yourselves but now you are at the mercy of a market vendor. If she does not open her stall, what will you eat? You will now need to run to the local doctor whose salary you did not negotiate for when you could have.
You use your five years in as a member of parliament to amass as much wealth as your hands can reach for so that if you’re not elected next time you can have some food security. In your term in office, you mindlessly passed one useless policy after another; The Public Order Management Act which curtailed freedom of association, introduced the social media tax – pushing away a vast majority of users that know Facebook and WhatsApp as the internet – you did not realize that internet is not a luxury which during a pandemic like this one, all students would be e-learning because you did not indulge your imagination. Never- not once did I hear you talk about universal health care insurance or decent housing projects for low-income earners.
The virus is spreading quickly – with it comes uncertainty and anxiety, so as you toss restlessly in your swanky beds, do some soul-searching about your ways, vow to major in what is vital, vow to never to use sirens to push away hard-working Ugandans from the road in traffic during rush hour- these people save actual lives, promise to use your imagination to creatively plan for your constituents, plan for the last Ugandan- the boy that sells bananas at Bukoto traffic lights at 10 pm just to see another sunrise – when he is well, we all are.
Good luck- I hope you make it to the other side of COVID-19 a wiser human.