With their apologies, Ronald Kibuule and Onesmus Twinamatsiko did what every abuser does. And like all other incidents where women have had to accept apologies because we want to believe that they represent some kind of sign that the person understands what abuse is and will do something about it, in our private spaces, we have kept the same optimism.
What is different this time? Ronald Kibuule, according to Hellen Obuku, invoked his office. He did not want to be searched because he is a Minister. The Stanbic CEO- who runs a bank that according to recent results, rose net profit by 56.9% to Shs107.29 billion- had time to apologise to him, likely because he is a Minister.
Kibuule also called the police. “But Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Emilian Kayima said Mr Kibuule called the police to “intervene in the case” at the bank. The Minister reportedly called the Mukono District police commander, Mr Alfred Ahimbisibwe, to arrest Obuku for criminal libel, a media-related offence. [Obuku is said to have “recollected herself and went back to her post and kept quiet.”]
I have been told that after this week, posts about 2013 will be irrelevant. So here is my late 2013 post because there are things about last year that I have to say.
With women as ministers in most of the important ministries (Education, Energy, Finance, Trade, Tourism and until the May reshuffle, Health), this is an issue. More women are getting into parliament, thanks to reserved seats and an increase in districts. When they are ministers however, how much do we limit to their gender?
This post is written by Susan Nava and was originally posted on Medium. It is republished here with permission from the author. Ronald Kibuule is only a few years older than I am. We share mutual friends, and I’ve been told that he is a fun guy to be around. That he is a lot…
We laugh for many reasons. Perhaps we are genuinely amused; maybe we are nervous, incredulous, at a loss for words. Perhaps the person we are laughing at or with has said something trivial, light, or even foolish. The difference between these “laughters” is that shocked, nervous, or derisive laughter is often short and abrupt – a single outburst rather than a continuous peal.
The real dangers to women’s rights are the people that have been quiet, notable among them are women leaders especially the now not so Honorable Mary Karooro Okurut, the youth representatives in parliament whose mandate is to represent the voices of the youth, the National Youth Council headed by Samuel Kavuma, the women members of parliament who have not said a thing and the Inspector General of Police.
S.21(1) of the Penal Code Act provides that “when a person incites any other person to commit an offence punishable with death, whether or not any offense is committed in consequence of the incitement, he or she is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.”
I was on my way home. It was 10.00 pm. Two men stopped me and grabbed each of my arms. I begged them to let me go, and they leered at me. I yelled at a teenager passing by and asked him to help me. The men told him to ‘mind his own business or face fire’. The teenager run away. The men begun tugging me in a direction I was unaware of as I struggled to free myself. A boda boda man passing by stopped and rode in our direction. They let me go and I run. One of them chased after me. I turned around and saw him raising his foot. I run faster but succumbed to the heavy kick my would-be rapist had just delivered to the small of my back. I hit the ground, cutting myself on stone.
I was afraid I’d brought this on myself because it was late and I was out alone.
Nothing that threatens another human being’s security, freedom and general well-being can be termed as a small issue. It is a big issue. It is a gigantic issue. It is a humongous issue. And we cannot- we cannot- let such issues pass over and over again, which is what we do when we do not hold leaders accountable; leaders who seem to remain unaware about the implication of their actions.