A friend who just returned from Uganda was telling us how expensive it was to travel by road to Juba, more, so when one is a foreigner. His take was the taxation on the road from Nimule. He wondered why there should be more taxes on the road even when one had paid entry visa as required by the laws. There are some where demand order is nothing but money, almost three such points where not less than 50SSP and 100 SSP are the order of the day while another one is required to part with 100 SSP and the demand goes up to 1,600 SSP a single. We were dumbfounded with my usual friend SaTP hearing such a tell-tale and it so whether what are collected ever reached the destination, the Government coffer. It took us sometime and when the be-spectacle, responded , he was to seek the intervention of the head tax-man by asking for a private road escort to find out and see for himself what was happening in these illegal tax-points. He wanted to correct this picture and if his escort found out that truly this was the case, they would call a back-up for immediate arrest of the culprits because they were smearing the name of this country with mud and dirt. SaTP was busy putting in place his action plan when someone called him through his cell-phone. He took almost three minutes on the phone and when he turned around; tears were rolling out of his eyes. We did not immediately ask why, but after few minutes, he volunteered to share the information. In a low voice he said “it has happened again. This is not an ambush but cold blood murder.” Report he had just received is that some three men were on their way to Juba from Terekeka, one of them armed security personnel who was on official duty and in uniform. They were waylaid immediately after leaving Terekeka by unknown gun-men who stopped the vehicle and singled out the officer who they pulled out of the car and shot him point-blank killing him instantly. He was brutally murdered. They took the man’s gun before disappearing in the thicket. Our friend was crying because just recently some kind of agreements or MOU was somehow reported to have been signed by some warring communities in the area. They had somehow agreed to stop hostilities against one another and they agreed to put gun to rest and give peace a chance. SaTP was so hurt that this innocent officer, who was going about his duties to protect the country, was murdered not because he had done something wrong but because of ethnicity. Yes he was somehow picked out because of his tribe, a disease which was hindering so many things in the country and which the leadership advocated to be stopped. This man had a family who depended on him for their survival. What a sad demise and what a situation.

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

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