Jacob Siminyu, spokesperson Immigration/Ministry of Internal Affairs says Ssekitoleko embarrassed the country, “What do you expect the country to do when it is embarrassed?” Simiyu fumed.
Siminyu supported Ssekitoleko’s detention, saying he should be used as an example for people who embarrass the country when they are abroad.
It is very relieving to hear that our country Uganda is starting to treat the act of embarrassing the country very seriously.
It is common human nature that none of us would like to be placed in an embarrassing situation or to be embarrassed by someone before others particularly before strangers.
So it is understandable why the guys tasked to manage Uganda’s image abroad in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs feel enraged by the so called embarrassment that the young weight lifter, Mr. Ssekitoleko is said to have brought to Uganda when he disappeared while in Japan.
Of course, since the media hasn’t been allowed to speak with the incarcerated young athletee, all that is being aired out about Ssekitoleko’s case is all hearsay. The public is eargely waiting to get the full and proper story from the athlete himself.
What is becoming interesting about this case is how all of a sudden and amidst the numerous things that have happened over years, the disappearance of this single young man has become such a huge irritation that is considered an embarrassment that can’t go unpunished.
As Mr. Siminyu has said that government wants the punishment of Ssekitoleko to serve as an example to those that have embarrassed the country and a deterrent for others who may think of doing things that can embarrase our country.
First of all, we may start off by wondering as to when our lovely beautiful Pearl ever felt embarassed!
This late and rather questionable pain of embarrassment that is being felt at this point of time can be compared to a man whose shirt was removed and never felt embarassed then his under pants removed but never felt the embarrassment. But when he is told to remove his shoes, it is when he yells out for mercy not to be embarrassed further!
Well, that may not be the best analogy in this case, but it seems that our feel for embarrassment might have come late.
There are many cases or incidences where we felt that our country was being embarassed, but since we have been somehow conditioned not to feel ashamed, we normally just laugh it off in casual retorts of “Uganda Zaabbu” or simply “That is Uganda” and we continue to move on.
We, therefore this time have to thank the Japanese government for shaking us up and to remind us of how we have been deeply embarassed by this boy not staying around in his hotel room when he was disqualified and told that he was to board a plane to return to Uganda in some three weeks’ time.
This clearly shows that what we in our Uganda would have taken very lightly and brushed off, in other countries it is a serious issue that can bring others to resign and even commit suicide as in the case with South Korea and Japan. In those countries public embarrassment is a taboo and is met with harsh sanctions.
May this case therefore serve to awaken our national conscience so that we can reject and desist from doing things either as individuals or collectively that may bring embarrassment to our country.