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“In my heart is the phrase ‘Cry, my beloved Uganda’.”
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“In my heart is the phrase ‘Cry, my beloved Uganda’.”

A political furore in Uganda concerning alleged beatings of opposition activists has Commonwealth Correspondent Steven Nsubuga, 27, questioning the integrity and intentions of the media and the government.

Just over a year ago, Uganda’s most famous opposition politician and 2011 Presidential election loser, Dr Kiiza Besigye, was brutally arrested.

The brutality was such that it left him partially blind, eventually having to be flown to Nairobi Kenya for treatment.

The manner of his apprehension left all right-thinking citizenry outraged and the government embarrassed.

One scene in particular will remain in the consciousness of those who witnessed the attack, which was captured on video: an armed man senselessly smashing the windscreen of Dr Besigye’s car.

The video was posted on YouTube by Nation TV (NTV). Barely a week later, a counter video was posted on YouTube by government agencies showing a different view of the arrest with Dr Besigye being filmed as the aggressor, brandishing a hammer at the law enforcement officers who were attempting to arrest him.

Fast forward a year, on Friday 20th 2012, and history seemed to repeat itself.

Outspoken political activist Ingrid Turinawe was arrested. In footage released by, you guessed it, NTV, an officer is shown assaulting Turinawe’s breast in an attempt to get her out of her car. Not long after, yes you guessed right again, the police released a different version of the video.

The main point of contention is that in the earlier video, the aggressor appeared to be a male officer, while in the government version of the video, the aggressor was a female officer.

Looking at these two incidents, one has to wonder, regardless of who is right, are we the general public being made a fool of? For two reputable bodies to be in disagreement over such major incidents does not reflect well on our society.

One of these two bodies is seemingly deceiving the populace. I will keep my opinion to myself as to who the liar might be. Suffice it to say that without these two consenting views, perhaps the issues at hand at the time would have received greater attention.

Both of these two incidents involve major human rights violations. However this appears to have been ignored in the controversy over who is telling the truth and who is the liar.

I cannot end this article with my usual doze of optimism. All I can find in my heart is the phrase, “Cry, my beloved Uganda.”

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About me:

“I am a 27-year-old software developer from Uganda. When I am not writing code, I am either reading my bible or playing Scrabble, football or badminton (I am a classic single-tasker, so I only one activity at a time).

“Sometimes you may also find me pondering who was the greater detective – Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes.”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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