8/11 In other words, where ever you are, you are leaving a massive electronic footprint, and that is the real content of your “back ground” in that “back ground check” that you are wondering about in the Ugandan context. In countries where individuals have such a huge electronic footprint, by the time police come to you to arrest you, you know they have their data: you just ask with a smile, for the handcuffs to be put on your wrists, because in your heart, you know they have the data: wamenikamata, bankutte, bangemye!
9/11 The other day we were talking about safe houses and torture and so on. Where people undergo subtle surveillance like I have tried to describe above, there is not torture. It is not because of democracy, as some of us argue here simplistically, it is because you do not have to whip some one to get information from him. You have it by just one push of the button. In Uganda, you lack that background information, whether on criminals, prospective judges ( I heard of a Senior Justice Kalanda who was found to have used some one else’s papers to advance his education), MPs, presidents, let alone military recruits.
10/11 So, let us get real and understand what makes things work or fail to work, instead of spending all our time ridiculing ourselves, wishing that we were like others, and generally cursing the dark without ever lighting any candle.
11/11 The lack of such infrastructure as I describe above accounts for such proverbs as “Ente endhirugavu enakuleta”, in other words, I can’t catch you now but when darkness sets in, you will come back to roost……I think that is Lusoga, your language. In other settings, whether it is shining or not, they will get you. Why?
Lance Corporal (Rtd) Otto Patrick