Archive for October 18th, 2007

October 18, 2007

No Answers on Poverty



So, did anyone go for the public forum on Wednesday? 

Anyone apart from a couple of MPs, NGO types and Gerald Tenywa who reported about the excitement of the parliamentarians “when they watched an Oscar award-winning film on climate change acted by the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former US vice-president, Al Gore”? 

Did they get answers as to why, despite the fact that I have been working for the past nine years, I am still as poor as the day I was born?  I have no property to speak of, I am constantly broke and if I died, only the bats in my ceiling would contest my will. 

Did they find a solution to the increasing number of children dropping out of school before Primary Seven because they are forced by their parents to join the family trade?  Did they discuss the fine balance between child labor and child exploitation and the declining household wealth? 

I wonder if my uncle from Kanungu was a case study at the public forum?  Did they talk about how his 10 acres of land are somehow not enough to feed him and his family of five?  How his formal education is of no greater use to him that shouting English expletives when he gets drunk? 

A group of men who participated in a workshop by the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative last weekend asked for a law to declare women part of their personal property.  They reasoned that since they spend millions on bride price, they deserve to have their wives listed as an item of their wealth.  Maybe this was on the agenda at the public forum … but maybe not. 

Did they (re)define poverty?  Did they speak of poverty of the mind? 

Or did they merely use the event as a networking opportunity and an excuse to miss work for the day, rushing to the organizer’s table at the end of the forum for the Ushs. 50,000 delegates’ allowance? 

Did anyone go for the public forum on Wednesday?


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