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Why we all need to kuba enduulu

If there are any lessons to learn from Dr Jimmy Spire Ssentongo’s online #Exhibition activism — which has seamlessly streamed into the
mainstream world — it is that okuba enduulu is a core component of our activism.

Enduulu is how we took care of each other and ensured safety of our communities. Enduulu is how we fought crime, alerted each other of wrongdoing and fought together. This old practice needs to be applied in this new world where our most troublesome thieves don’t go about with machetes and iron bars (small ones still do), but with letterheads, public offices and stamps.

They go about in V8 vehicles, designer suits and fabrics. Through enduulu — thanks to all those who shared details — a storm is raging in many spaces. We stand a chance to make politicians and fat-cat public servants accountable — by making them uncomfortable with their loot.

You see, the only way a thief gets emboldened is knowing that they will not be exposed. Unlike the late Sobbi Sserunjoji, many thieves want to go about like they are normal human beings enjoying the profits of their honest sweat. A thief does not want to be labelled and identified.

This is why they go about their business either in the night or under intense covertness. Notice also that the only authentic way these big thieves can be smoked out, made to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable, is if there are authentic receipts of their crimes: bearing their names and signatures.

Thieves have no problem with ‘allegations.’ Thieves have no problem with “generalisations” about criminality —where everyone is accused without a name being named. Only receipts – in the form of minutes, bank statements, letters of instructions or pictures of them in action — make thieves shudder.

In this era where the main thieves, the pain to our development, are men and women in big offices, politically appointed or ‘officially recruited,’ receipts are very important. They fear nothing except being labelled and identified. Yoweri Museveni told us that his and other thieves are mostly permanent secretaries, town clerks, sub-county chiefs and chief administration officers. But to catch these thieves who normally deal in big money, you have to have absolute foolproof evidence.

With exception of parliament where money is moved in sacks (we need more pictures of these), in many other places, big monies being stolen normally leave behind a paper trail. There is always a paper trail with some fancy labels, a euphemism for crime: an honorarium, a per diem, or other.

You would not see my excitement when Minister Evelyn Anite — in the spirit of the exhibitions — came out and made enduulu about the thieves under Uganda Investment Authority. The icing on the cake was that she encouraged us to demand that they return our public money whenever we see them.

The only reason Minister Anite’s message struck us deeply was because she also presented receipts of theft. This is the spirit that we need to drive on moving forth. A cannibal cannot easily walk to a butchery and buy meat. They will be wondering what has happened to them this time. After the entire world knows these are thieves, we could then publicly ostracise them, berate them when we see them on the streets, name and shame them on social media.

For sure, Speaker Anita Among can arrest all her opposers, but she must be having sleepless nights with all the anger and name calling she gets on social media. Dear secretaries, office assistants, lawyers, associates, janitors, drivers, administrators, in these offices, it is my firm belief that you feel the pain of this theft and failures.

For sure, even people in government — in supposedly juicy positions in public service or other — do not like the way we are governed. Dear people inside Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Uganda National Roads Authority, National Medical Stores, State House, Parliament, KCCA, and all those ministries, let your activism be letting your countrymen know.

Do not worry about doing big things, just share these receipts and return home to a big meal. In this day and age, where new technologies have enabled us the opportunity to share information privately and quietly at supersonic speed, please get those receipts, take a picture, a quick scan, a video, (a photocopy might be too much, but if you may) and share with the world.

If there is anything to learn from the Kenyan protests — there is a lot definitely — it is that the sharing and spread of legitimate receipts helps in many struggles. For sure, Uganda can work well for all of us, but we need to do this together. Enduulu. (How does enduulu translate in other languages of Uganda?).


The author is a political theorist based at Makerere University.


0 #11 kabayekka 2024-07-14 09:00
Enduulu. (How does enduulu translate in other languages of Uganda?). Well for Yusuf Serunkuma "Heddlu" is the Police name in the Welsh language!

But for the Ganda Fraternity Enduulu can be used in singing Ullaallaa song lyrics. Going out on the streets or the NRM cadre courts beating Enduulu will not work.

The writer of this article seems to be beating about the bush to fight corruption in a govenment of the people, by the people for the people.

The IGG and many more professional administrations are available to stop corruption in governments. And they are well facilitated to be able to do their work and they are highly paid for such an expensive and important job. Enduulu cannot replace them!
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+1 #12 kabayekka 2024-07-14 09:26
The best Yusuf and others can do to fight the current blatant corruption is to tell directly in the face of this government to resign because of its many failures to effectively develop this country to greater heights for now 40 years and counting.

That is why efforts are underway to see to it that the Kingdom State of Buganda does not continue to participate in the national elections of Uganda.

The Ganda citizens should stay put at their homes. Cook their food and eat on that day. The next day they should resume their every day honourable duties of earning their living.

It is high time the Ganda realized their rights to vote in free and fair democratic elections. King Ronald Mutebi for Him does not subscribe to voting in a military and Republican union of Uganda.
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