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In a famous African proverb, It is said that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled upon.
On Wednesday, Kampala and it’s surrounding suburbs broke out into a mini war zone after protests quickly turned into riots.
The scenes played out like a Hollywood movie!
The Uganda Police has chosen to continue on the path of extreme brutality when dealing with the citizens!
Where is humanity?
Something is awfully wrong and we need to address it as a Nation.
The violence that ensued escalated into a grave and regrettable event that left several injured and civilian casualties.
My heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
As a Muslim I am taught to expect death at any moment and this is exhibited in the many causalities of the day and such a stark reminder!
The majority of the casualties were not part of the protests, ( not saying protestors deserve it either) and they were just going on with their business of the day up until a stray bullet hit them from nowhere.
I have tried to avoid the images from that day but the few that I saw have been permanently seared on my brain.
Oh Uganda ,
We need healing!
PWDs are often victims of any conflict because we are forced to stay despite the danger being faced because of our inability to flee.
Some of us are unable to run, others cannot see the bullets and other objects flying while others cannot hear the sound of cries, screams or gun fire.
Then there are people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that may not be fully cognizant of what’s happening around them.I am not implying in any way that one life is better than another but NO one thinks of the PWDs.
I have not heard of any death of a PWD, related to the violence of the last few days.
BUT Kampala has a huge number of PWDs who are present in the city on a daily basis.
And I am not comforted because like most PWDs I leave my home to go out and look for food.
How safe are we??
How do we remain safe and still go out to work in hostile environments such as what has been happening?
We are excluded from mainstream employment and the lucky few that are self employed, our small businesses are lost in the chaos of such events.
Not to mention the possibility of getting a secondary disability in such chaos and loss of life.
I have been hearing harrowing recounts of experiences some of my PWD friends went through that fateful Wednesday.
From getting injured, to getting separated from your guide to losing personal effects, to getting stranded!
I am apppealing to the State ,humanitarians and civil society groups to focus on the safety of PWDs in circumstances of natural disasters, war and conflict.
PLEASE be reminded that we all have a shared responsibility of keeping protests safe and peaceful.
We all know that those who can’t easily escape when clashes erupt are often left behind.
SO, tell me, “ Who is looking out for us?!”
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