Open Letter To Honorable Muhammad Nsereko
I have, with a renewed strength and hope in humanity, read your story of how you came to the rescue of Esther Nassazi and her 4 children who had been detained at the Central Police Station for camping at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) on Monday over her vandalized stall. I think that the 4 million shillings cash donation that you gave her will turn her life around- or at least help her start a new and for that, I applaud your selflessness and empathy and also thank the Daily Monitor for being just in time to catch this exemplary piece of news. Further more, I agree with what you said that no parent should have to stay out with her children in the rain looking for what to do. In fact, if you delve deeper, look more- I think you might have a few more people to rescue as there are definitely more Esther Nassazis in Kampala.
When I first saw her story myself, I tried to understand why it had come to her stall being destroyed and her merchandise being confiscated during an operation by KCCA enforcement. Had she been given a warning? Had there been rules read out to her whose breaking would lead to this punishment? I wondered. Even then, because I think the law is the law and the officers could have been only doing their job, I racked my brains for one reason why an unarmed woman’s peaceful protest and request to speak to the KCCA Director would get her arrested, together with her children. As you might imagine, I found none.
Sadly even after this seemingly problem-solving act of generosity, I and other citizens of Uganda who might have been wondering with me shall not find these answers. The city authorities shall not be tasked to explain vandalization of Esther’s property and neither will the police for arresting a peaceful protester together with her children. Further more, the KCCA Director will not grant this woman audience or say whether she at least saw story of city dweller who sought her audience and as a leader of city council at least considered tasking the police to explain why they’d arrest individual who publicly, yet peacefully sought her audience.
Mr. Nsereko, I’m afraid you in your capacity as Member of Parliament Kampala Central where Esther conducts business, have not represented her and other traders with same plight. Nassazi has not answers to her grievances but a temporary solution. Her reasons for the quite courageous protest have not been heard or addressed. If she had been rightfully punished, she will never know and when she, with this 4 million starts afresh, Esther might put her business in another area which city authorities might again find unsuitable. I hope that today while you take that seat in the August House, you find time to reflect on this.