Dear Dad, A young man died.

Dear Dad.
A young man died. The causes of death are numerous.
His father said he is dead because of his tribe.
An onlooker said he is dead because he harmed the security guard.
The other side said that he is dead because those people are arrogant.
The police say he is dead because of a gunshot from a semi-automatic rifle.
The coroner could make it easy and say a ruptured coronary artery that led to severe bleeding and loss of consciousness.
The only person yet to decide on what happened is the judiciary. We are waiting with bated breathe on whether they will be blind to all this exposure.
The Court of Public opinion is still divided. He deserved to die and the Askaris are poorly paid. We never allow Parliament to discuss labor laws properly.

Dad. We all died with that young man. We needed to bring out the fact and finality.
Some of us who are more elitist than the rest branded it a Class issue. The poor vs the rich. To them, a certain level of social justice was achieved.
To those of us who think our opportunity is taken by them. We branded it a tribalistic affair. The westerners vs the rest of us.

Dad that young man who died is closer to my daily life than the man who shot.
The man who shot is probably closer to me in heritage but the nature of society means his existence is never internalized by me.

It is worrying that the face of poverty, disease, war hopelessness has an akin resemblance to mine.
That light-up smile at the entrance when I visit a shopping mall, they are pleased that at least one of US can afford to shop here.
I was once even advised by security to take my money home rather than waste it on these light-skinned girls. They won’t help me…

Daddy, I am not comfortable when I visit uptown bars and restaurants.
A shame considering as a son of a top hotelier I spent a lot of time in lounges spread-eagled lazing around and having tea. It is from lack of association.
The people in service look more like me than the patrons. I notice.
It isn’t uncommon for me to be requested to talk to a young man who isn’t taking his studies seriously. I can’t really tell him, mine is a journey of the smooth seas.
Between me and you, I did waste your school fees money.

It doesn’t help that the face of wealth and glamour is becoming distinct to a certain part of our country.
The truth is it is now an open secret that they don’t earn that money. I am not accusing a whole group of robbery.
You once told your In-laws that their wealth was a result of years of theft. You once warned an errant Jamwa that his days at NSSF would never end well.
I am not saying we are innocent in the plunder of Uganda. I am saying that we got the chance to be forgiven because of how we look and the names we hold.

Mr. Othieno, this is an assassination. Let it be treated that way.
This young man should never rest until our conscience is in our hands tearing us down.
We add Akena and Kateregga as our own Uganda Martyrs to our conscience. So that we build a country free of your old ragtag band of bandit’s who masquerade as our Government.
Maybe we open our hearts and tell stories. I was with you in Gulu when we hosted the Pope at Acholi Inn. He prayed for peace, the hostility ended. The war never ended.
Who knew that it would be so important to have a tribe.

Dad, I have to go. Maybe next time I will tell you a story of happiness.
This little space means a lot to you. It cost you your life, career, and sanity.
Wish the others see it that way.

ImgSrc: Tripadvisor

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Written by Zeno Othieno Owora (1)

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