During the weekend the Forum for Democratic Change wanted to continue with their food relief program in Katakwi, the region that has been hit by famine and by drought. Therefore earlier in April the FDC sent a team and maize flour, that was on the 5th April of 2017. This was blocked by the Uganda Police Force and the Regional Police Commander Francis Tumwesigye. Take a look!
So on the 22nd April 2017 the FDC went through with it:
“FDC officials secretly distribute food relief in Toroma County, Katakwi, after earlier being barred by police Earlier this month, the FDC team, led by Dr. Kizza Besigye were blocked from giving out the food to vulnerable persons who include child headed families, the elderly and persons with disabilities who are hard-hit by the famine that has ravaged the sub-counties of Toroma, Magoro ,Omodoi and Kapujan. However, yesterday the FDC officials resorted to giving out the food secretly with each parish receiving bags of maize flour and beans for the households in the county. This time, Katakwi’s Resident District Commissioner Ambrose Tumwesigye said FDC should have first sought permission from his office to distribute the food” (NTV Uganda, 22.04.2017).
Minister of Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru have had the whole month to deliver the State organized food relief to their own citizens, earlier him together with the Police shut-down the food relief. The FDC tried to the citizens something good. While the loyalty of the Police, RPC Tumwesigye and RDC Tumwesigye, are both prepared to stop the opposition.
That the FDC had to decide to do it secretly says more about the state of affairs, than of the will of going against the state. That the National Resistance Movement and the local state officials haven’t been positive before.
So even the State Minister Musa Ecweru had to apologize to the residents of Katakwi:
“All willing humanitarian agencies or parties have the right to distribute food, if they consult with the line ministry, the Ministry for Relief and Disaster Preparedness,” Mr Ecweru explained. He added that FDC will be allowed to distribute food if they make arrangements with the Ministry for Relief and Disaster Preparedness in order to avoid duplication” (…) “The chairperson Teso Parliamentary Group, Mr Patrick Okabe, also at the weekend, condemned the actions of police to deny the people of Toroma County food, saying: “Teso Parliamentary Group stands firm with the people of Teso in this trying moment.” (NTV Newsnight, 11.04.2017).
So if the FDC had consulted directly with the minster and the regional leadership. Still, I doubt they would allow it, as the NRM hasn’t really been positive to anything involving the opposition parties, unless they are the “Good DP”. So the FDC would no matter what they do, get blocked and stopped, with tear-gas and get people into hospital treatment. Even if the RDC Tumwesigye had been informed or RPC Tumwesigye had been told, I doubt they would have said: “Yes be kind, just do it”.
Since the NRM and their government forces haven’t really showed any finesse in those matters. So that the FDC had to yesterday and this weekend do it in silence, because of their lacking faith in the government entities. That the RDC and RPC would stifle the efforts of the FDC. We can know how the oppressive behavior of the security forces towards the FDC, when they are doing food relief in silence and in the dark in Katakwi. As the last time the violence and disruption of it, destroyed the willing to help the drought hit region.
That the government doesn’t themselves show that they are grateful and the considerate effort of the FDC. Therefore, the reality that the Government says: “please just tell and we will allow” isn’t truthful or sincere. If it was so, then the FDC would have done it and pleased the government. Still, the reality of it is, that the NRM tries what it can to silence the FDC and their leadership. By any means possible, even when citizens who starve are blocked because of the giver. Shows the ice-cold hearts and the oppressive acts of the ruling regime. Peace.