By Saudah Nakibirango
No one deserves to be discriminated because of their sex, race, colour, tribe, birth, religion, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability of any kind, that’s according to article 21 of the 1995 Uganda Constitution.
The sad reality is that in our country Uganda, a lot of these proclamations have remained a pipe dream for many of us.
I was born 23 years ago in a family with strong political links and affiliations. My father, Mzee Senkubuge Ibrahim Musisi was one of the top notch kingpins in JEEMA, one of Uganda’s well known political parties, whose membership is predominantly muslim.
My early life was shaped by my father’s political life. I grew up to admire his public stature and strong will to fight for a better free world where everyone’s rights are respected.
Even when he was arrested and accused of being one of the forces behind a rebel group known as Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), I knew they were framing him and continued to aspire to be like him.
Our father knew perhaps that we would be traumatised by his tribulations. He therefore chose to send us to boarding schools at a very tender age.
Leadership call, trouble begins;
After my primary education, I joined Hands of Grace Secondary School, a christian-founded school and while there I received my leadership call that saw me being elected as the Academics Prefect.
Meanwhile, having studied in Christian schools since primary, Nakibirango started to get thoughts of denouncing her Islamic religion for Christianity.
In 2012, I was taken to Kinaawa High School, Wakiso district. I am not shy to say that I found the school’s strong islamic conventions quite repugnant and unacceptable. My earlier life in primary schools greatly influenced my attitudes toward Islam that I grew up to hate some of the practices I grew up witnessing.
My early Christian influence earned me friendship among the minority Christians at the school. It was not surprising that I was named School Headgirl. I used my position to champion for the rights of Christians who were always forced to practice Islam against their will.
My political blood still flowed in my veins when I went to University. I shared a lot with the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). But my stay at Campus wasn’t rosy either. I tested the repression at the hands of the government.
My political tribulations did little to dissuade me from pursuing my political ambitions.
My ordeal was made worse by the fact that I abandoned Islam and converted to Christianity. This is because my family declared me their enemy and told me never to associate with them again.
Recruited as a spy
In 2017 at the height of the Opposition led Togikwatako campaign, I was arrested and accused of treason.
While in police detention, I suffered sexual molestation and other forms of abuse. I was only spared by the security operatives on condition that I would spy on my party.
After being freed, I stood my ground and declined to give them information. Of late, I became suspicious about many people whom I suspected to be security agents trailing me. On several occasions, I received death threats.
Recently, with the help a friend, I managed to sneak out of my country against my free will. While I am a strong believer in the need to fight for democracy and rule of law. I feel that my life is threatened.
The violence meted out at Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi and Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake, and several other opposition figures, is a rude reminder that those of us with smaller profiles, would be crashed.