By Mpuga Rukidi, Uganda:
I pose a question that appears to be premised on inferiority, and on a need to play victim. I always get those criticisms. But who says I care? I am determined to still pose the question: Just why does the whole wide world hate us?
In social relations, as indeed in diplomacy, there is something called reciprocity. And it is not complex to appreciate. It works thus: If am in need of help, I ask a friend. If the friend is in need, they ask me and that way we help each other. In short, scratch my back, and I will, as long as I live, scratch yours.
I need to give you a little bit of context here. Last week, two of our Ministers (I should have used the word 'honourable' before talking about them), were sent to foreign countries to receive medical treatment. The countries were India and Kenya. Nothing wrong with that. After all we all need life, and we need the Ministers' lives more than anybody's. Please don't laugh! They are not yet back in the country. They were just being good government officials. Perfectly alright.
For the years I have lived, and these are not few by any standard of arithmetic, I have witnessed government officials go abroad to get treated. In fact I would have been very surprised if the good Ministers – actually, the good honourable Ministers – had stayed in Uganda for all their medical treatment. But there is also something that I have witnessed (or not witnessed for that matter) in the many years I have lived. It is, dear readers, the fact that not a single foreign official has ever been sent here to receive treatment. And that really hurts. Forget all the nonsense that is said and written about the state of our hospitals by useless critics – every government has those after all. Forget the fact that it is said several of our hospitals are in comma or that our ICU' Intensive Care Units, are in want of intensive care themselves. That is nonsense. Just why can't these countries play by the simple rules of reciprocity? If several of our people of importance die there, why can't their people of importance also die here? And if that is not hate, what is it?
It may be difficult for the officials themselves to come and die in our hospitals. That I perfectly understand. But I also perfectly understand the fact that our friends, especially in Europe and America, have pets, and that they love those dearly. If they the people themselves can't make it here, why can't they just send their pets at the very least? My reading of this is not just a failure by our friends to reciprocate our good deeds, but it is also an insult: while we send our cream to their hospitals to be treated, they themselves can't send even their dogs to ours. That is what I call hate. The world hates us! If I may pause the question once again, just why does the world hate us?
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