God Doesn’t Love Sinners


By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma

www.freesayer.wordpress.com; bsaint3@outlook.com; @BBBakampa

There is a common misconception among people that God loves sinners; moreover unconditionally. This is a fallacious argument. The justification given for this mundane claim is the statement by the apostle Paul, in Romans 5:8, ‘But God has shown us how much he loves us – it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!’ There are other related scriptures that are relied upon in this claim, but this is the most prominently quoted and relied upon verse.

On the contrary, I submit that actually God doesn’t love sinners. He dislikes them. And that is why He executes justice against them. This justice is not pleasant and desired by sinners, because it is not a pat on the back, or a flying kiss, or a friendly smile, or a bouquet of flowers, and so on. It is punishment, which, as defined by A.S. Hornby, A.P. Cowie, and A.C. Gimson, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, at page 690, is a, ‘penalty inflicted for wrongdoing.’ In this case, wrongdoing is sinning against God.

What happens in truth is that God is only patient with, merciful to, or tolerant of sinners, in spite of their sins. It is this patience, mercy, and tolerance that many mistake for being love of sinners. God is patient with, merciful to, and tolerant of sinners, so as to give them an opportunity to repent their sins, turn away from Satan and his evil ways that lead to desolation, and instead embrace their creator, God, who has plans of prosperity and a good future for them (see, Jeremiah 29:11), but not disaster, as does Satan.

God wonderfully and fearfully created mankind (see, Psalms 139:14) in His own image (see, Genesis 1:27). That’s why a person’s body is God’s temple (see, 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17). Now, when the person sins, his or her body (and consequently God’s temple) is polluted by that sin, and that draws away God’s spirit from him or her. The person loses holiness that is characteristic of God and His dwelling places. Yet God abhors sin, because it is contrary to His nature. So, He distances Himself from the unholy sinner, since like light and darkness, God and the sinner are incompatible, and cannot co-exist; so much so that God also forsook or separated Himself from Jesus while on the cross, (see, Matthew 27:46) when all the sins of the world were finally heaped on Him who was otherwise sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Dear reader, at this stage, the person is two-in-one – original good person, and now bad, sinful and unholy being. God always loves the first person – that wonderfully and fearfully created original person (for that bond is unbreakable, since even those condemned to hell, will always be God’s creatures); and that’s why He sent Jesus to salvage man’s sin-tainted soul by dying on the cross, as stated in John 3:16, ‘For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.’ It is in this line of thought that the apostle Paul wrote those famous and popular words, in Romans 5:8, ‘But God has shown us how much he loves us – it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!’ By these words, Paul meant God’s love for the original good person, now turned sinful, whom God is only patient with, merciful to, and tolerant of, desiring for him another chance at redemption. A selfish and diluted interpretation of Romans 5:8 will give it an utterly absurd meaning.

But God doesn’t love the second person – the sinner. That’s for sure, without doubt. The sinner who doesn’t make use of God’s grace period of patience, mercy, and tolerance, he or she must await God’s justice, which is his or her lot, as stated by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:23, ‘The wages of sin is death.’ The unrepentant sinner rejects God, thereby leaving God with no choice, but to turn away from him or her, because, as stated by Grace to You, God cannot look upon sin (see, Grace to You, ‘Why Did Jesus Cry, “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”’ www.gty.org/resources/bible-qna/BQ032913). When God does this, He no longer loves that sinful person. Lest it be said that God and Satan are in alliance! This leaves the sinner to his or her chosen master, Satan.

Yet the two-in-one person must be judged as one entity by God. It is at this point that sinners get in a hopeless state, because God will either command or permit punishment upon them, since, as well stated and illustrated by Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, at page 230:

Men cannot with impunity reject the warning which God in mercy sends them. A message was sent from heaven to the world in Noah’s day, and their salvation depended upon the manner in which they treated that message. Because they rejected the warning, the Spirit of God was withdrawn from the sinful race, and they perished in the waters of the Flood. In the time of Abraham, mercy ceased to plead with the guilty inhabitants of Sodom, and all but Lot with his wife and two daughters were consumed by fire sent down from heaven. So in the days of Christ. The Son of God declared to the unbelieving Jews of that generation: “Your house is left unto you desolate.” Matthew 23:38. Looking down to the last days, the same Infinite Power declares, concerning those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved”: “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. As they reject the teachings of His word, God withdraws His Spirit and leaves them to the deceptions which they love.

Misinterpretation of the scriptures has led to so much licentiousness (total immoral freedom to do as one pleases) among God’s people, vainly believing that they can sin and offend God, and get away with it; after all, they have His assumed divine promise of unconditional eternal love. This is regrettable ignorance of God and His nature; and Satan, in his characteristically cunning and deceptive manner, exploits this ignorance among God’s people, to his destructive advantage.

For, again as stated by Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, at page 331, ‘Satan leads many to believe that God will overlook their unfaithfulness in the minor affairs of life; but the Lord … will in no way sanction or tolerate evil. All who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to remain upon the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan. … The case of all such is hopeless.’ Their cases are hopeless because Habakkuk 1:13 has declared of God, ‘Your eyes are too holy to look at evil, and you cannot stand the sight of people doing wrong.’ And God Himself has declared, in Habakkuk 2:4, that, ‘Those who are evil will not survive, but those who are righteous will live because they are faithful to God.’ (Emphasis added.)

So, I assert that the evil ones – the sinners – will not survive, because God does not love them, while the righteous ones will survive, because God loves them. The statement by the apostle Paul, in Romans 5:8 should be put in its proper context. I hope this opinion goes far enough to make it better understood. Dear reader, may God bless you abundantly.

Donald Trump Is Better For American President Than Hillary Clinton


By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
bsaint3@outlook.com; http://www.freesayer.wordpress.com; @BBBakampa

I have been following the US presidential election, listening to Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s and Mr. Donald Trump’s comments, and promises of the things they intend to do for Americans and the rest of the world. I also watched and listened to the first televised debate between them yesterday.

My assessment, so far, is that Mr. Trump sounds more genuine, and would make a better president for Americans, and leader of the rest of the world, than Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Trump has come off as an anti-status quo candidate, while Mrs. Clinton has come off as a pro-status quo candidate.

So, what is the status quo, you may ask?

It’s no doubt that we live in a world dominated by America, in virtually all respects – political, trade, diplomatic, military, etc. With this dominance, America enjoys the privilege of determining, setting, and often dictating the global agenda. Indeed, America first, and then follows the rest of the world. Consequently, America enjoys great prestige from this dominance of international affairs. In fact, it is said to be “the world’s policeman.” And true to that reputation, the United States has a record of bullying, deposing and imposing leaders in other countries especially, using its all-powerful intelligence organ, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the military. Therefore, under the era of American dominance, the world is largely fashioned in the format of a master-servant relationship. Even regions like Europe and parts of Asia (like Japan, South Korea, and lately China), which enjoy a semi-autonomous status, these can be said to be subjects (as distinguished from servants or slaves) of American dominance.

But this privilege comes at a price: America virtually buys or pays for it, through such things as paying states’ membership fees at many international bodies like the United Nations, World Bank, NATO, etc. The United States also carries the responsibility of protecting and ensuring the security of many of its allied states around the world, mainly through military deployments and installation of military defense systems, like missile shields in Europe, Middle East (particularly Israel), and the Asian axis (notably Japan and South Korea). The challenge is that these costly obligations are met at (I think) little or no profit for the American people. Moreover, apart from the economic cost, this privilege also comes at a huge social cost, whereby, as lamented by President Barack Obama, America is blamed for almost everything and anything: when it acts in an attempt to remedy a given situation, it is blamed for either acting too fast, or acting inappropriately; and when it doesn’t, it’s blamed for inaction or delayed action.

So, this status quo is both advantageous, and disadvantageous for the United States; and I submit that due to its monetary and social cost implications, it is increasingly becoming more disadvantageous for it, largely due to the fact that with the emergence of other powerful states, having ability to serve as regional power centers, able to counter American dominance (like Brazil in South America, China in Asia, Iran in the Middle East, a number of European states under the European Union, and, of course, Russia), the world is fast becoming a partnership of equals, as opposed to a cartel of domineering and subjective interests.

It is this American domineering outlook that has largely defined, shaped and driven globalization, and it has had a profound influence on the global arena, leading to stability and progress in many areas, but also causing havoc and stagnation in others. It is this status quo that Hillary Clinton aspires to maintain, and Donald Trump aspires to change.

It is evident that while Mr. Trump is a dedicated American nationalist, standing for and championing the concerns of ordinary Americans, Mrs. Clinton is a consummate internationalist, clearly defending and promoting elite group interests of international actors, both in America and elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the brand and style of globalization today doesn’t work for ordinary people, who are the majority anywhere on the globe, and that’s mainly why there is growing global inequality, with resources concentrated in the hands of a paltry few rich and powerful people. In fact, this inequality is more apparent and obscene in America than anywhere else in the world.

Among others, Mr. Trump advocates balanced trade deals between America and other nations; calls for economic fairness, and job retention for Americans, by for instance, castigating ongoing shifting and relocation of American companies to other countries; and, as a typical businessman, demands value for money of heavy American security investments overseas. It is these policies that counter the disastrous effects of globalization today that selectively distributes resources to the minority business and political elite, who are the patrons of Mrs. Clinton, and whom she represents. Mr. Trump’s approach translates into meaningful prosperity for ordinary, majority Americans. He has their best interests at heart.

At the global level, Mr. Trump’s quid pro quo approach will neutralize America’s spirited and largely unnecessary dominance over other states, thus eliminating the servitude and slavish nature of globalization today. Mr. Trump views other nations and peoples as partners in building a shared world of opportunities and responsibilities. I doubt Mrs. Clinton does.

The future of globalization is a merger of mutually beneficial interests and opportunities, as opposed to just shared threats, whether actual or merely perceived. Our common destiny will be fully harnessed in bonds of equality, not subservient relationships.

Donald Trump understands that, but I don’t think Hillary Clinton does. Mr. Trump’s nationalist ideals won’t impede globalization. Rather, they will modify it. He deserves the support of all Americans.

Jesus Didn’t Insult Non-Israelites


By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
http://www.freesayer.wordpress.com; bsaint3@outlook.com; @BBBakampa

I have many good friends. They are really good people. My friends come from all sectors of society, because I believe diversity is beautiful. They include Muslims.

My friends and I often engage in intellectual discussions, on various issues. Quite unsurprisingly, religious affairs are among our favorite topics of discussion, because they are always interesting. Recently, I had a discussion with some of my Muslim friends on who Jesus really came for – that is, whose savior was (or is) He?

I said Jesus was sent to all people, from all corners of the world. They said Jesus was sent to only the people of Israel (the Jews), arguing and insisting that it is Mohammad who was sent to all mankind. In order to buttress their views, they referred to a scripture in the Bible where Jesus supposedly said non-Israelites are dogs. They wondered whether it can be reasonably said that somebody came to bring salvation to dogs.

The scripture in question is Matthew 15:26. This scripture is part of an encounter Jesus had with a Canaanite woman of great faith. Let me reproduce the whole passage so that the context of Jesus’ words can be fully noted. I quote from the Good News Bible, Matthew 15:21-28 (see also, Mark 7:24-30).

21. Jesus left that place and went off to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 22. A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.”

23. But Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples came to him and begged him, “Send her away! She is following us and making all this noise!”

24. Then Jesus replied, “I have been sent only to those lost sheep, the people of Israel.”

25. At this the woman came and fell at his feet. “Help me, sir!” she said.

26. Jesus answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”

27. “That’s true, sir,” she answered; “but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their masters’ table.”

28. So Jesus answered her, “You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you.” And at that very moment her daughter was healed.

Taken at face value, or literally, it can indeed be said that Jesus said non-Israelites are dogs, in 15:26, especially considering that He had already clearly said, in 15:24, that He was sent only to the people of Israel (this is the scripture on which Mohammed and Muslims base themselves to say that he was sent to all mankind, unlike Jesus who they insist was sent to the Jews only).

But looked at more analytically, one finds that Jesus didn’t speak derogatorily of non-Israelites, supposedly calling them dogs. Rather, in speaking the way He did to the Canaanite woman, Jesus was only testing her faith, by kind of teasing her, and stretching her patience a little; but not intentionally frustrating her, to deny her request to relieve her daughter of the demon that was terrorizing her. This, to my mind, is the only logical explanation for Jesus’ speech. And that is precisely why Jesus finally told her that, ‘You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you.’ Then we are told that, ‘And at that very moment her daughter was healed.’

In Romans 4:13 the apostle Paul says that, ‘God’s promises will come by faith.’ But God tests or allows our faith to be tested for authenticity or genuineness. God tested Abraham by requiring him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, whom he loved very much (see, Genesis chapter 22). God allowed Satan to test Job’s faith, by permitting Satan to strike Job with a dreadful skin disease, death of his children, and destruction of his property (see, Job chapters 1 and 2). Even Jesus Himself was tested by Satan in the desert (see, Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; and Luke 4:1-13). The apostles of Jesus were tested by subjection to cruel punishments, including death (see, Acts 12:1-5). But at the end of the day, these great men emerged triumphant. So it was, with the Canaanite woman. Hers was a test of her pride, by being seemingly compared or equated to a dog. She swallowed her pride, submitted to God’s authority, and like the others before her, emerged victorious. The nature and kind of God’s tests keep changing because He is too original to duplicate Himself.

So, we learn that God’s tests are not insults at all. Rather, they are just that – tests; which A.S. Hornby, A.P. Cowie, and A.C. Gimson, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English (1983), at page 909, define as a trial or examination of somebody’s powers, knowledge, skill, etc. God’s tests are innocent and harmless. Certainly, they are far from being insults. Tests are God’s techniques of judging our belief and trust in Him.

When we remain steadfast in our faith in God, with and/or in spite of our powers, knowledge and skill, we give meaning to the principal commandment that, ‘Worship no god but me’ (see, Exodus 20:3; and Deuteronomy 5:7), which Jesus stated is the greatest and most important commandment, clarifying it as, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’ (see, Matthew 22:36-38). We can only prove this love for God, by successfully passing His tests of our faith in Him, however burdensome or strenuous they may be. But one thing is for sure: God cannot test us beyond our ability to handle or cope with. Therefore, Jesus didn’t insult non-Israelites in His address to the Canaanite woman.

How We Use The Internet Will Determine Our Pace Of Development


By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma

http://www.freesayer.wordpress.com; bsaint3@outlook.com; @BBBakampa

The United Nations recognized the internet as a human right in 2010. This recognition was prompted by the vital role the internet plays in human development especially, in today’s highly globalized world. The importance of the internet cannot be overemphasized. It is a plethora of opportunities in virtually all areas of human life. Generally speaking, the internet is useful for intellectual growth, business development, and social interactions. All these are key aspects of human development.

The World Bank anticipates that the internet will play an increasingly important role in bridging the North-South divide (a term used to describe the economic disparity between the rich countries of Europe and North America vis-à-vis their poor counterparts, mainly in Africa and South America) by effectively facilitating the transfer of knowledge and technology to these under-developed societies, thereby accelerating economic development there.

A remarkable feature of the internet is the emergence of social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and several e-mail service providers. Social media has had a profound influence on communication globally, by enabling person-to-person exchanges on an unprecedented scale in human history. Today, people from across the globe, most of who don’t even know each other personally, are able to communicate with one another instantly, and with much ease. Interesting! Isn’t it?

A notable aspect of social media is the existence of “virtual communities,” which are groups of people coming together, under a common affiliation or agenda. For example, old boys and girls of academic institutions re-uniting under the institution’s banner, or like-minded people coming together to champion causes of common concern like charity, and addressing other social issues. They are “virtual communities” because they exist in space, since their members are actually long distances apart from each other in the real world (this explains their virtual nature); yet are seemingly close to one another on the internet, able to interact and share information, just like other people who are together physically on ground (this defines their community status).

But like all other things, the internet is susceptible to being under-utilized, or outright abuse, and misuse. My concern today is under-utilization of the internet, although I must say that internet abuse and misuse are important areas of concern too. Should we under-utilize the internet, we risk losing a chance to tap into its full potential to accelerate our development process.

Ugandans are not using the internet meaningfully. The majority of us just use it for gossiping, and doing other petty things. I see this happen so much on Facebook and WhatsApp, which are the most popular social media platforms. Others simply use it to quarrel with and vent their anger at people, or trends they don’t like, usually of the government and particular public figures. This would be fine, only if these angry people went ahead to suggest workable solutions or plausible alternatives to the matters they complain about. Unfortunately, this is not done. Mere shouting and hurling insults isn’t developmental.

The internet has revolutionized communication in terms of speed, cost, and accuracy. This is way too valuable to ignore or squander. We should use it more productively to accelerate our development aspirations. It should be used it to exploit the available opportunities in knowledge acquisition and creation, thus harnessing our intellectual prowess. It is a vital resource for exploring and harnessing useful business contacts, markets and trade networks, consequently enabling technology transfer.

Save Kizza Besigye and Other Prisoners


The continued arrest, and detention of Col. (Rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye by government of Uganda (and more appropriately, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni) is manifestly unjustified and illegal, since there is no court order, or legal process whatsoever, warranting it.

This humiliation goes on unchecked (in fact, with enhanced vigour) after the recently concluded presidential election exercise, on 18 February 2016.

It is my considered opinion that the on-going humiliation is not just for Dr Besigye, but Ugandans as a whole. It is an insult on his, and our collective intelligence as people of Uganda.

Several questions come to the mind of a rational and objective viewer, including the following:

1. Does the seat and/or office of President of the Republic of Uganda belong to the person of Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, such that it is wrong and illegal for any other Ugandan to vie for it?

2. Did Dr Besigye commit any offence by standing for election as president of Uganda?

3. Did Dr Besigye’s supporters commit any crime by supporting him in his political beliefs?

4. Is Uganda still a free and democratic society as declared by Article 43(2) of our Constitution?

In answering these important questions, an honest, rational and objective viewer must answer them in the negative i.e. NO.

Apparently, President Museveni and his government have effectively put all of us – patriotic countrymen and women – on trial, and judged us to be so stupid that we can be trampled upon at will, in total disregard of our fundamental human rights and freedoms, as enshrined and guaranteed in our constitution.

Therefore as a people, we must stand together in rejection of this shameful judgment of a leader and regime that have lost all respect for the people, moreover a great people, who are wonderfully and fearfully created in God’s image.

I submit that now is the time for Dr Besigye’s supporters and all people of goodwill – Ugandans and non-Ugandans alike – to come up and actively (beyond our comfort zones) defend the human rights of Dr Besigye, and in so doing, the human rights of an entire people, in a democratic and peaceful manner.

Philly Bongly Lutaya (RIP) said, ‘Today is me; tomorrow is someone else.’ Clearly, today is Dr Besigye, tomorrow it could be you or me. ACT NOW!

If you are ready, contact me right here, or via e-mail: bsaint3@outlook.com; or mobile: +256-753-12 47 13; or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BBBakampa; or Twitter: https://twitter.com/BBBakampa.

Ministry of Health in Uganda Exploits and Dumps Its Employees


By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[Dip. Law (First Class) – LDC; Cert. PELD – NALI-K; LLB (Hons) – Mak; PG Cert. Oil & Gas – Mak]
bsaint3@outlook.com; http://www.freesayer.wordpress.com

Uganda’s health ministry shamelessly exploits, abuses and dump its employees. I derive this considered opinion from the experience of about 80 nurses and midwives who have approached me for assistance in handling their salary grievances against the Ministry of Health, which hired and deployed them to work in various parts of the country for one year, but did not pay them even a single cent for their services.

Briefly, the sad story of the said nurses and midwives is as follows:

The Government of Uganda, represented by the Ministry of Health, established a Private Not For Profit bursary pool fund, in partnership with its development partners, and the Uganda Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim Medical Bureaus.

Under this arrangement, the Government was to sponsor selected students in nursing and midwifery. The students were to undergo training at centres known as Health Training Institutions (HTI), availed and operated by the medical bureaus, at a cost of Uganda shillings two million per year, per student.

Formal bonding agreements were entered into in 2011 and 2012, between the beneficiary students and the Government, represented by Ms Kusasira Edith, who signed for the Permanent Secretary of the ministry. The agreements were witnessed by the Principals of the HTIs, and the Head of Personnel at the Ministry, Ms Birungi Rachel Asiimwe.

The students undertook studies and completed training in 2013.

On 23 June 2014, they were offered a Non-Pensionable Contract Appointment as enrolled nurses and midwives, for one year, as arrangements were made to regularize their appointment in the mainstream public service, subject to their performance. This offer was made in a letter signed by Ms Kusasira Edith, signing for the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, stating, among others, a monthly salary (for example, each midwife was to earn Uganda shillings 365,627/= per month, inclusive of PAYE and 5% employee’s contribution to NSSF), and that acceptance of the offer should be made in writing. It was copied to the Executive Director of Mulago National Referral Hospital, Dr Byarugaba Biryabareba.

The nurses and midwives accepted the offer in writing on different dates, expressing their gratitude for the deployments, and promised to abide by the rules and regulations of their work stations. Henceforth, they became employees of the Ministry of Health.

On 27 June 2014, the substantive Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Lukwago Asuman, issued posting instructions to the nurses and midwives to various work stations across Uganda, including Mulago National Referral Hospital, effective 1 July 2014. The letter was copied to the Executive Director of Mulago hospital, Dr Byarugaba Biryabareba, instructing him to inform Permanent Secretary Dr Lukwago Asuman as soon as the employees start working, for him (Dr Lukwago) to start processing their salaries.

On 1 July 2014, the nurses and midwives started working at their duty stations across the country. During this time – around 3rd and 4th July 2014 – they also filed their Personal Record Forms with the Ministry of Health, indicating their particulars (like names, date of birth, nationality, sex, districts of origin, places of work, religious denomination, bank account details, educational status and qualifications, and next of kin).

On the instruction of Mr Louis Tugume, acting for the Permanent Secretary of the health ministry, they were examined by Government Medical Officers, to ascertain their medical fitness for appointment to the public service. After examination, they were found to be medically fit and cleared for appointment. The clearance was copied to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service.

The employees worked for one year, up to July 2015. During this whole time, not even a single shilling was paid to them!

It is said, however, that Ms Kusasira Edith, who I gather is the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, made a verbal communication to some still unknown people, in September 2014 (only three months after the employees’ assumption of work), that the Non-Pensionable Contract Appointment was terminated. This, of course, was very irregular of Ms Kusasira, especially, considering that everything from the start was in writing, yet she now purported to terminate the contract by mere word of mouth, and given her close and personal involvement in this matter.

Nevertheless, the employees continued working at their duty stations, mainly because of strong and repeated assurances and encouragement from their superiors that their money would come in bulk. At Mulago hospital, for example, the Executive Director, Dr Byarugaba Biryabareba, told them confidently that their money was there, and warned that whoever didn’t work as per the agreement, would not get it. On basis of such reliable assurances and encouragements, the nurses and midwives continued working tirelessly, faithfully and loyally, serving their country and people diligently.

By God’s grace and mercy, I undertake investigation and resolution of this matter, with a view of helping the affected employees obtain justice; but some disturbing thoughts come to my mind.

It is highly possible that the nurses’ and midwives’ salaries were released, but misappropriated and stolen by officials either at the Ministry of Health or the duty stations. In the likely event that this hypothesis is true, then it would be very absurd and unfortunate for this country. I promise that whoever is found culpable in this matter will be held accountable before God, all the responsible authorities in Uganda and beyond, and definitely, the people, in whose name all public work is done.

Then, one cannot help, but pity the health workers of this country, who have to deal with insensitive, callous, exploitative, corrupt, and inconsiderate superiors. Many times I hear members of the public complaining that they are mistreated by harsh health workers especially, nurses and midwives. While this is wrong and should be condemned in the strongest terms possible, it is also important to appreciate the plight and hardships of our healthcare system personnel. Take, for instance, the nurses and midwives involved here, who worked for a full year without pay at all! They have to look after themselves, their families, and other dependants, plus a host of other financial obligations to cater for. How on earth are they expected to survive? I think it is due to such great or immense difficulties that some of them vent their deep-seated anger and frustration on their patients, although, as I have clearly said, unjustifiably so. As the saying goes, ‘A hungry (wo)man is an angry (wo)man.’

SAVE REMAND PRISONERS IN UGANDA PRISONS


Dear friend, I hope you are fine. Thank you for all the good work you are doing in this world. May you be blessed abundantly for your positive contribution towards human advancement and wellbeing. Thank you, and congratulations.

I humbly request you to kindly assist me financially, logistically, technically and/or otherwise, in my campaign dubbed, SAVE REMAND PRISONERS IN UGANDA PRISONS. For detailed information about this campaign, if it pleases you, please refer to the concept note below this message. Suffice to say, however, that the inordinately large number of remand prisoners awaiting trial in Uganda is a big blow to the integrity of the country’s judicial system, and definitely undermines its development aspirations, since injustice breeds poverty, and vice versa.

I am without doubt that this campaign will be very successful if embarked upon, because just recently – last year and early this year – I successfully pursued two campaigns against corruption, ineptitude, cruelty, oppression and tyranny in some sections of our judiciary and school system. Again, if it pleases you, refer to these links – http://bbbakampa.blogspot.ug/2014/05/complaint-concerning-under-performance_10.html and http://bbbakampa.blogspot.ug/2015/02/rampant-corruption-at-nakawa-high-court.html – for more information about the said campaigns.

In his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr said that, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’ Dr King was undoubtedly right, because in today’s globalized world, the intolerable plight of remand prisoners in Uganda inevitably impinges on progress everywhere else, for instance, through retarded development, since many of them could otherwise be doing more profitable work as other free people, thereby contributing to global economic development.

This campaign will expand the frontiers of human freedom, which is more the reason we need to work together, by God’s grace, to further human rights and defeat poverty, by opening prison doors and unbolting iron gates, to set free our fellow human beings, who are held captive by an unjust, covetous, proud, pompous, and deceptive system.

My personal motto is, It’s Possible. I, therefore, now say to you, dear friend, that it’s possible for us to succeed in this noble endeavour.

Best regards,

Bakampa Brian Baryaguma

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

CONCEPT NOTE ON CAMPAIGN TO SAVE REMAND PRISONERS IN UGANDA PRISONS

1. INTRODUCTION

I am, together with other progressive, reformist, and transformational Ugandans, organizing a nation-wide activist campaign to save thousands of prisoners, who are languishing in Uganda’s prisons. The campaign will mobilize and organize people in Uganda, in a spirit of activism, to raise awareness on:–

(a) the plight of remand prisoners, and the human rights of people in conflict with the law;

(b) developing strategies to solve the challenges in the administration of justice; and

(c) the need for public accountability by judicial and other government institutions, and administrators in the performance of judicial roles.

2. BACKGROUND

Thousands of people are unfairly, and really illegally, detained on remand in many prisons all over Uganda. A recent study found that 55% of prisoners have not been tried. Painfully, many of these prisoners have been detained for as long as five or more years (a whole general electoral term), with little hope of ever appearing before a judicial officer for hearing and determination of the cases against them. This very is detrimental to Uganda’s development aspirations.

The Government of Uganda has made commendable efforts in developing policies and institutional frameworks for the administration of justice, although a lot more remains to be desired especially, in terms of implementation. The judiciary continues to perform dismally in its core mandate of administering justice, particularly criminal justice. The judicial system is faced with many challenges, which the administrators, and indeed, several analysts and observers, blame on largely far-fetched excuses, like insufficient judges and magistrates to handle the bulk of judicial work; yet the actual problem is internal and self-inflicted inefficiency due to poor work ethic, abuse of power, corruption, and utter contempt and disregard for the people, among others. Before us is a system of high-grade, and de facto legalized racketeers, who are condescending and inconsiderate of common people.

Overcoming these challenges requires collective action from members of the public, in collaboration with different friendly reformist and transformational stakeholders, including – interestingly and fortunately – progressive actors in the judicial system itself.

To achieve this, however, requires extensive and deliberate efforts to mobilize and organize the masses and other organized players to rise up, demand and ensure efficiency in the performance of judicial work, and to discuss and develop realistic strategies and action plans to overcome existing challenges.

It is from this background that I am organizing a spirited nationwide Campaign to Save Remand Prisoners in Uganda Prisons, modeled on the previous hugely successful campaign against the cruelty, oppression, and tyranny of the Law Development Centre. (Visit http://bbbakampa.blogspot.ug/2014/05/complaint-concerning-under-performance_10.html).

3. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES OF THE CAMPAIGN

There are four main objectives of this campaign, namely:–

(a) To raise awareness, among the people of Uganda, of the need to pick keen interest in judicial and public affairs, by specifically demanding accountability from their leaders;

(b) To ensure that the thousands of prisoners on remand in Uganda’s prisons receive justice, by having the cases against them heard and determined expeditiously;

(c) To reform and transform Uganda’s judicial system, by making it truly pro-people, accountable, dynamic, and responsive to the needs of the people, for whom it is established and called to serve; and

(d) To establish viable networks, and build synergies with relevant stakeholders like judicial administrators, parliamentarians, policy makers, civil society organizations, and development partners, to discuss and implement long-term and sustainable strategies to overcome challenges facing Uganda’s justice system, in a spirit of beyond rhetoric, by being doers of the word, not just hearers of the word.

4. EXPECTED OUTCOMES OF THE CAMPAIGN

There are four major outcomes expected from this campaign, namely:–

(a) Enhanced public consciousness and engagement in the operations of the judicial system. Participants are expected to improve their knowledge and understanding of the need for public scrutiny in the working of the justice system, as a necessary check against judicial abuses and incompetence.

(b) The thousands of prisoners on remand in Uganda’s prisons will receive justice, by having their cases heard and determined expeditiously.

(c) A reformed and transformed judicial system that is efficient, truly pro-people, accountable, dynamic, and responsive to the needs of the people, for whom it is established and called to serve.

(d) More coordination among relevant players in the justice system, driven more by action and follow-up, but not largely mere empty rhetoric.

5. FORMAT OF THE CAMPAIGN

The campaign will be organized in form of public discussion sessions in both rural, and urban settings, frank interactions with judicial administrators, and lobbying policy makers to ensure that the above objectives are achieved.

The topics for discussion will rotate around how to ensure a people-oriented judicial system that is efficient and progressive.

Participants are expected to discuss workable strategies and meaningful actions to improve justice delivery in Uganda, and beyond (e.g. the East African Community).

6. ABOUT ME

I am a lawyer, and team leader of a pressure group called Friends International – Uganda, composed of progressive, reformist and transformational Ugandans, working in conjunction with friends and allies around the world. We advocate and pursue public solutions for public problems, through individual and public activism, as a necessary tool for promoting and ensuring efficient public service delivery. This philosophy forms the ideological base of Friends International – Uganda.

Bakampa Brian BARYAGUMA

Team Leader, Friends International – Uganda