Saturday, 19 April 2008

Tears, Prayers....and What Next?

The media is awash [to use the cliche phrase] with stories of the fire that gutted a girls' dormitory at Budo Junior School, that is located in Wakiso district, Central Uganda. So many questions, so many speculations, so many theories....but very few answers about what actually happened on that fateful night of 14 April 2008.

As usual as with all tragedies in Uganda, we see the big people [that is the politicians and government officials] "express sadness" [or even "cry"] about the event, "console" the bereaved and "mourn" the dead [which is, in my view, are crocodile tears meant to show the gullible public that they care]. Inevitably, thereafter, there are prayers to pray for the souls of the dead and public shows of sympathy from different people and organisations or associations or whatever group that wants to be seen to be 'caring'.

Oh...I almost forgot...there are also promises from the government authorities to do everything possible to get the bottom of what caused the tragedy. Someone, in almost all cases, the President, "orders a probe" [a very common word in our news media, I wish "findings" was even more common]. And that is the last you hear of it.....over time, the initial grief pales and is soon forgotten as the issue falls off the radar. Eventually, it is only among the bereaved that the pain is still fresh; in this case, the parents.

According to The Daily Monitor, there have been 33 fires at educational institutions since 2003!! Where are the findings of those probes, reports, etc.

That is why I hate these prayers for the souls of the dead when I know that another similar disaster is waiting to happen in another school before this year ends. We need to address the fundamental issues that breed the conditions for such tragedies to happen than just to cry and pray...and not answer the questions that continue to linger.

The way we, Ugandans, act makes the saying [was it Karl Marx?] that religion is the opiate of society even ring more true.....Now, the opiate has been administered [memorial prayers] and we are going back to sleep [reports shelved and the issue forgotten].

1 comment:

ROBERT said...

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