Being a refugee in Africa or Uganda is an unenviable curse. The Life of a refugee in Uganda is bleak, full of hopelessness, chaotic and unsavory. Some of you hear stories of free food, free health care, scholarships for refugees and resettlement opportunities abroad and you think that being a refugee is a something enviable. You are being so naive, callous, insensitive and misguided because less than 0.005 of the approximately one million plus refugees in Uganda will ever benefit from the scholarships and resettlement abroad. Most refugees are poor, illiterate and hopeless. They live in crowded camps with limited access to clean water, poor sanitary conditions, limited working opportunities and no access to land to cultivate. The free health care people talk about is plagued by inefficiency and corruption just like the health care available to Ugandan nationals and the life Ugandans enjoy in their own homes, on their own land and in their own country is a distant dream for most refugees. Refugees in Uganda have do not have a general authorization to work or own property and they are discouraged from marrying Ugandans. They have no work prospects or hope that the security situation will stabilise in their nations anytime soon.
Ugandans are poor, unemployed and oppressed by a high debt burden, callous and corrupt politicians and the heavyweight of corruption. They have no access to clean drinking water, their education system is ineffective and the health care system is broken as a result of insufficient funding and high levels of corruption but they live in their own country with relative peace and security. A Ugandan can cultivate his shamba to feed his or her children and even produce an excess to sell and raise money. A hard-working Ugandan can educate his children, afford health care for his children and operate a small business to provide for his or her children. You can even choose to be a village trouble maker, build a sizeable hut on your land and still live a better life than a refugee confined to a refugee camp and a plot of thirty metres by thirty metres. A refugee is expected to build and cultivate a space of 900 square metres and survive on a cash ration of Ushs 19,000 per month.
Ugandans who are agitating for chaos and civil war need to visit a refugee camp to witness the horrors of displacement from your country. African leaders care about no one except their children, friends and relatives. They will let a country sink into genocide or civil war without thinking twice about the senseless deaths that it will cause as long as they retain the power to plunder national resources and live like kings as their country men die like flies. In the end even those that fight to dislodge the dictators, thieves and crooks end up being exactly what they fought to end. Those that have had the previledge to read George Orwell’s Animal farm know that the so called freedom fighters secretly strive to become just like the masters they purportedly deplore and despise. In Africa animal farm plays its self like a song on repeat and we have learnt that freedom fighters are fighting not for freedom or for their country but for their stomachs and those of their friends, enablers and relatives. After successfully deposing the humans, the pigs took over the farm but soon the pigs started to behave as humans and the old adage that all animals are equal that was the basis of the revolution was replaced by a new one that all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. Soon thereafter, the pigs started walking on two legs like the humans. The animals looked at the humans and looked at the pigs and it was impossible to tell which was which.
I have seen the life of a refugees in Uganda and Africa at large. I have learnt one singular lesson from African leaders, the revolutionaries are tomorrows dictators. If we are going to end up exactly where we started after a brutal civil war and thousands of meaningless death, we are better off with our sane and tolerant President Tibihaburwa Kaguta. I genuinely desire and constantly pray for a peaceful transition of power in Uganda because it is a precedent that will ultimately prevent a brutal dictatorship and civil war but for now our only hope is convincing president Tibihaburwa to give us a peaceful transition of power. Mr. President I don’t want to be a refugee in any country in East Africa. I would not mind being a refugee in Europe or North America but I doubt I can survive a journey on the high seas. Therefore, President Tibihaburwa, I am here to negotiate for a bargain. I am willing to give you anything your heart desires as long as you combat corruption, put back the presidential term limit and ensure a peaceful transition of power.