Monday, July 10, 2017


At a recent crucial meeting, I found myself in a bit of a fix. I was trying to belabour a point which no one seemed to understand or even care to listen. On more than one occasion, I tried to explain my point. However, the others seemed not to get it. There was a desire to move on and to do what I believed was wrong. It was a hopeless situation as i watched us ride off a cliff on an erroneous position

However, out of the corner of my eye, another lady who had hitherto been ignored, raised her hand and explained my point in a way that made the rest of the team see the light that i was desperately trying to do. The level of relief I felt as the rest of the team ''finally got it'' is to be credited for this blog piece

So it is then - often times we are actually misunderstood. However, this is sometimes our fault because we might be using a language that is too complicated for the rest to comprehend, or an explanation that is to long-winded to be easily understood. I believe this was my shortcoming. Sometimes people are so set up in their ways that they don't have the patience to not only hear you out, but also to try to understand what you are saying or trying to communicate. In my case, i did feel that the former was true. I probably failed to communicate due to the complexity of what I was trying to say
The experience however has challenged me to be more patient with those who sometimes do not seem to understand the position one has held. It reminds me of an individual who tried to offer me a bribe in order for me to perform an illegality. This individual could not understand why i refused. In his book, he felt that it was not his lucky day. He probably was used to paying his way out of a situation regardless of the effect. With hindsight, I now realize that this gentleman knew no better. He had been conditioned to such a modus operandi that anything to the contrary didn't make sense to him. All my attempts to show him otherwise ( which lasted close to forty minutes) failed. However, now i understand. Sometimes people are not in the same frame of mind as one might be. As a result they are unable to understand what one is communicating because of the difference in 'wave lengths'/ 'world views'.

It is no wonder that in the book of Luke 23:34 NKJV, Our Lord Jesus cries out to His Father saying - Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.'' Jesus understood that his tormentors were like new born babes, unaware of the repercussions of their actions. 

My take home is therefore - be patient  and keep calm. Sometimes one doesn't see what you see or comprehend as you do.  What is your take?

Let’s first conduct a Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Religious Policy

By D.R. Ruhweza

One of my favorite childhood stories was the one about the six blind men in India who went to feel an elephant and therefore report what it was. Each blind man felt a specific part of the elephant - from the tusks, to the trunk, to the leg, the ear, tail and even body. Each made a report regarding what they thought the elephant was because of the part that they touched. While one thought the elephant was as small as a snake, another assumed it was as sharp as a spear and so on.

The above story came to my mind when I was pondering about the amount of furore that the draft religious policy has created in our nation. It can safely be said that like the blind men who went to feel the elephant, most of the comments regarding the religious policy – including my own- are true to the extent of the perception of the opinion giver. However, it can also be safely said that each perception might not be what the elephant actually is. Rather, it might be a subset of a bigger issue.

It is therefore prudent, that a process be taken which ensures that all those concerned about the religious policy are not only heard, but are also given opportunity to hear others out. In so doing, it will be possible to have a holistic understanding of what the elephant is. It is therefore upon this background that I hope that the Directorate of Ethics and Integrity, which is the assumed originator of the draft religious policy, carries out a Regulatory Impact Assessment of the draft religious policy. If this has already been done, it will be prudent to share its results including the various options that were given to resolve the problems identified.
A Regulatory Impact Assessment is part of the Regulatory Best Practices initiated by the Cabinet Secretariat in 2004. It is aimed at helping policy makers to carry out an assessment of the impact which the proposed policy options might have on the target group. In so doing, the policy makers are able to better appreciate how our society is likely to be affected by the said policy. The result is that any policy that is made is informed by evidence coming from a RIA process. Generally, a RIA is a ten (10) step process in which the problem that the policy seeks to address is properly assessed and various options on how to address the problem(s) are identified. The RIA also identifies what the anticipated risks of the Policy or any other option will be. In the same process, the gains of the options are analysed, the intent of the proposals are analysed, losers and winners identified, a cost benefit analysis is made, and various options are identified

The RIA also identifies ways in which the policy will be enforced, it notes what the sanctions and reward mechanisms would be, identifies monitoring and evaluation strategies and ensures that these are all in line with national and international policy dispensations.

It is therefore my submission that if the draft religious policy had been submitted to this process, most of the criticisms and concerns that have been raised about it would have been addressed. It is therefore not too late to either carry out a RIA or share the various options that were proposed before we all think an elephant is a like a spear yet we only touched the tasks and not the rest of its body.

The Writer is the President of the Uganda Christian Lawyers’ Fraternity.