It is less than 24 hours to this year’s Presidential election in Uganda. At the last one, Linda, her mom and the entire household were up early to make the short trek to the polling station. The queues were long, the air was dry and the mood vibrant. It was like a meet up of old school mates. When the process delayed, everyone grumbled in unison and if someone cracked a joke, it was sent around in ‘Chinese whisper’ fashion until it reached the last person, who laughed last (and best?)
This time round, Linda has accepted her fate, she will have to get News 10th hand and follow updates online. Just a day ago, there were in the middle of a lecture when her Ugandan classmate tapped her and asked “Have you heard there’s tear gas in Kampala?” It would be the subject of their discussion for the rest of the afternoon during their break. It is just so difficult to helplessly look on in any situation, right? Jacob reflected on Kenya’s 2007 election violence which he witnessed and they all agreed to be positive about the process and outcome.
When you are part of a system, and wish to complain or applaud it, first you must do everything in your power to participate. If it costs you something, even better.Linda will be praying for peace as she watches from the other side.
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”