LDU recruitment across the country is, in an unusual turn of events for a government of Uganda project, going way better than expected. Thousands are turning up to apply even when only paltry hundreds are required.
At Kampala’s recruitment for example, where 3000 youth arrived, the applicants were so eager to show their violence and brutality that they were fighting even before the selection was made.
Why and how comes that so many people want so badly to be in LDU? We know for a certain fact that no one is giving away Nina Roz concert tickets for each successful LDU applicant.
We know that not every application venue has free wifi.
We know that they aren’t paid that much.
So is it a hunger in the youth of Uganda to be part of what we can easily convert into a paramilitary party Schutzstaffel when we complete the next stage of our transformation into Soviet-era tyranny? Is that it?
Is it because someone passed it around like a secret among the thirstier youth of Uganda that LDUs are considered like, totally sexy and you guys won’t believe just how mob laid you will get when you join LDU? Is that it?
A wise man said that if you want to understand otherwise inexplicable social phenomena what you have to do is alter perspective– don’t look at it as involving a “them” class which is behaving strangely. “Imagine if it was you,” he said. Why would you want to join LDU?
And suddenly it becomes clear.
LDU personnel get guns.
Uganda today is becoming increasingly dangerous. Iron bar gangs roam the dark pathways, brick wielding brigands lay ambush at our gates, any taxi you enter at night could be a roving four-wheeled den of thieves, and if you are not being robbed by the boda guys, you are the boda buy being robbed.
And this is the really gruesome part: You would expect that complying with the thugs, offering no resistance, just giving them what they demand would mean they would not hurt you. But no; the evil spirits Uganda was cursed to harbour are putting in effort above and beyond the call of duty. These thugs will injure or even kill you regardless.
And you can’t rely on the cops, can you? Because Uganda Police is like my love life: statistically there must be true love out there for me, but I don’t know, I just keep meeting the wrong ones.
I mean, waiting until after dessert to dump me?
How do you wear that dress to dump a guy?
And you are still using my Netflix password even after?
Kwegamba, love is Police. But as we were saying…
There is danger coming from everywhere– security guards gun us down in supermarket parking lots over trivial disputes and even our leaders– our leaders — their cops will shoot you too. So the police will shoot you even while your own political servant is there looking.
Black Lives don’t matter here either.
I’m not saying I agree with those Trump sympathizers, but I can understand why a Ugandan these days would feel the need to get strapped. Uganda is turning into a Tupac rap song.
I kind of lost the satirical stream there– I was supposed to be attempting the case that the reason people want to be in LDU is because LDUs presumably don’t get assaulted in this Gotham of ours. Victims are civilians, so getting out of civilian status is the key.
But I got so worked up that I lost the satire and ended up with just ire.
Ugandans used to be proud of how late we could walk through our own streets. We used to brag about how safe it was to just walk from the club to the hostel at four am. Now here we are. Our best satirists are attempting lame jokes about how the youth are joining LDU so they can avoid being robbed.
But maybe LDU patrols will help. That is what they are meant for; to beef up, as they call it, security in the, as they call it, wake of increase in violent crime. Maybe they will help.
But I am not holding my breath. We already have police, private security guards, crime preventers; we registered our bikes, our sim cards and our hoodies, we shared the videos of CCTV footage all over the OTT and my friend still had her jaw broken over an old phone.
I don’t have the answers, I don’t have the solution. I could rail away about how crime rates are diminished by increasing opportunity for economic advancement through legal means, how more guns just means more shooting, not less crime, how LDUs historically have been known to become thugs and bullies and how scared I am that this batch will be worse, but I was supposed to be offering satire, not solutions. And I have failed at that. Let me go lock myself in the lavatory to weep.