Monday, April 08, 2019


You showed us what it means to live
...and to excel.
If you were here today, 
You would be proud that we continue to live 
And to push on
We continue to strive
And survive

You would be proud that Mom is well
You would be proud that Manchester United still shines 
-albeit with some hiccups
You would be proud that your grandchildren are growing
You would be proud that we did as you asked
You are resting in the lovely hills of your beloved lands

You would be proud
We continued to study
And not settle for less
That we continue to show respect
Yes, there are some challenges
Yet, we shall overcome
The Nation ain't there yet
We have not perfected the Runyakitara
We still struggle to keep time
And while some of them might have escorted you
Your descendants continue to increase
Though our opinions might sometimes differ
Your values we continue to hold
Our love for you never ending

Dearly missed
Rest in peace
We shall certainly meet one day

April5, 2019

I see you Mama

I see you Mama
As you carry me
You muster energy to work
 A busy schedule you have
The sweat on your brow
Is dubbed away in a white handkerchief
Hardly have you sat down to catch your breath
When the patient next door yelps in pain
Crying out to you
For another jab of morphine

I see you Mama
Your head desires to get up
Your swollen legs refuse
'A moment please?' they beg
The patient screms again
Your hands grip the arms of the chair
My weight between your hips
Drags you down

I see you Mama
You manage to stand
Slightly dizzy
You wobble to the patient
You smile
Painfully though
'It is well Mr. Mureefu ...
'...Your drugs will be with you shortly...' 
You hold his head with you pained palm 
Assuring him
Giving him hope

I see you Mama
The sight of your white cape
And squeaky clean White nurse's uniform assures him
Inspite of the bulge in your belly - that is me
You walk around his bed
Holding its edges for support
You check his drip
A few more assuring words
Slowly you walk back to the Nurses' Office
And slump into the chair again
You look at the clock
One more hour before your shift ends

I see you Mama
Bag in hand
The old bus jingles into the City
Its old rattling chairs are not helping now
Into Mulago Hospital you walk
You climb up the staircase
You hold onto the rail for support
The birth pangs begin

I see you Mama
Your strength has dimmed
You look for it deep in the crevices of your being
Like a true daughter of Kabalega
You grip the metallic head rest of the bed
I join you in this battle of life
For life
Our life

I see you Mama
You stretch out to hold me
Close to your chest
Your hope, your love, your tears
I feel the warmth of your bosom
I cry out in confusion
I hear your voice
Always soothing

I see you Mama
You sit quietly by the hospital bed
There is a tube in my nose
The fever is ravaging my toddler body
The moonlight beams on your forehead
I can tell your form from here
Am assured you are there
I cough
You touch my cheek
Blood drips into my anaemic tiny body
 Millions of plasmodia plus plus attacked
They don't know the Amazon Warrior that you are
You won't let them win
They lose

I see you Mama
Seated in honour
Having attended the Swearing in at Mwiri
The Marriage to Clare
The birth of  the babies
And now 
My fourth graduation today
I place this funny cap on your head
It is as much my victory as it is yours
My heart melts
Words fail me
 You have given all
You have loved me
We have lived on
By God’s grace

I see you Mama
Warmth always
Strands of silver decorate your head
Your smile still strong
Your green fingers blossom
Your poise still strong
And Wise
And lovely

I see you Mama
Blessed are you among all women
And I 
The proudest son that ever lived
I love you Always




She walks tall and strong
There is a swing in her hip
She smiles
Extends her hand and makes eye contact
Her grip is strong but gentle
There is a beautiful flowery perfume
Is it La vie est belle
It lingers
A clean set of teeth is revealed
She sits
Lady-like and all
We get to work
Her case is clear
She knows what she is saying
And calmy responds to my queries
Her handshakes
albeit briefly
As she notes my opinion
Ever coaxing her head
A good pair of rings on her ears
She refuses my tea
As she walks off
Watch it
Almost slid

I cannot catch my breath
He is so imposing
Quite important looking
His fingers all trimmed
His suit quite trim
Nice shoes – Italian I think
He has been working out
His grip is strong
I feel my knees knock
Why can’t the butterflies in my stomach
Rest this once
Husky voice – Wow
Am I making sense as I speak?
I feel the sweat run down my back
Can I make the impression
He seems to understand
Was that a slip of the tongue
The back of my ears sweat
My knees can’t settle
I rehearsed my speech so well
Last night
I can hardly recall what I jotted in my yellow notes
His eyes are stabbing my retina
What did he say?
I need to listen more closely
His perfume is nice
Wait my hands are shaking
As I write
Did he notice?
OK meeting is over
This looks positive
Almost slipped
Am ashamed
I won’t look back


... All is vanity. What does a man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. (Ecc 1:1)

Scenario One:        A young child was ‘arrested’ for stealing some chocolate bars. The details of the whole affair are not necessary save for the fact that the bars belonged to it’s own parents. While the said child immensely tried to hide its deeds from the parents, another child led the ‘investigation’ and ‘arrest’ and presented the same for trial before the parents. Interestingly, the ‘police officer’ sought counsel from a ‘senior colleague in the forces’ before presenting the case for ‘sanction and trial’. We are told that the reason for the inquiry was to make sure that the arresting officer was not being merciless. After being convinced that the cause of justice is important, the said officer proceeded with the matter.  This blog will neither name the actors in this story, nor will this author admit as to whether there is a blood relationship between the author and the said protagonists. What is most important is to know that even children have a sense of justice.

Scenario Two:       In my early days of legal practice, my colleague handled a case involving two brothers –presumed to be of legal mind- who had declared their biological father dead, fraudulently extracted a death certificate and letters of administration, and then sold off their father’s land. When the new owner came to take possession, he found the allegedly dead man alive and well. What followed next is not my focus here, save for the fact that the said brothers had literally sold off their inheritance as well as foregone their father’s blessing. In essence they committed the offence of ‘constructive patricide’ (of course it doesn’t exist in our statute books). 

What struck me by the above stories is that the children stole what would easily have been in its possession without need to either hide their dastardly deeds (at least for scenario two) or the use of illegal/criminal paths. The possibility that the parents would have refused to share what was in their possession, is most likely next to nil (especially in scenario one).  While it is true that the aging father in the latter story could have had sentiments about give or sell off his land while still alive, it would have been the postponement of the inevitable. Equally still, the chocolate in the former story would most likely have been distributed equally between the siblings.

I am reminded of the parable of the Prodigal Son as recounted in the book of Luke 15: 11- 32. In this story, interestingly, the prodigal son knew that he had an inheritance in his father’s estate, (vs. 12) while the other ‘good son’ seems not to known this (vs. 29). I have written about this Prodigal son's brother before here.  Isn’t it sad that often times – just like the good son- we are bitter about what we do not actually properly appreciate, let alone understand? 

Over the past weekend, the Uganda Law Society held its Pre-Annual General Meeting Conference. The main speaker was the Inspector General of Government, Justice Irene Mulyagonja. She spoke about corruption and the way in which public funds are stolen by fellow Ugandans. She also shared ways in which the Society can be helpful in fighting the vice.  One of the main indictments against the Law Society was by a member of the Society who accused fellow lawyers of being the actual agents of corruption. He actually made specific accusations which caused me to propose that a commission of inquiry be instituted to investigate these allegations. However, that is besides the point

Without going into details of the accusations or the discussions that ensued, what stood out for me is that we were all indicted.  Secondly, and probably more importantly, we are stealing what already belongs to us. When money meant for a public service, say a road is siphoned into buying the latest model of vehicle, there will be no road good enough to enable the person to ‘enjoy’ the said vehicle. In anycase, a badly constructed road will be a cause of many an accident and we all are losers. When money meant for health care or education is misallocated (read stolen) to build another block of flats or shopping mall, there will be no healthy - let alone - educated middle class populace with the resources to enjoy these facilities. 

Poorly skilled individuals will obviously give bad services, often with disastrous effects. In some cases, the money stolen from Uganda is used to purchase properties abroad and these rarely benefit the purchaser or his progeny. We then create a society of the ‘Have’s’ and the ‘Have Not’s’ all waiting for a chance to pounce at the national cake as we call it. We are then left in a vicious cycle of poverty and hatred in which it is a man eat man world, survival for the fittest, often ending in a life and death battle for survival.  It is like the dog that is chasing its tail to no avail. The French Revolution is an example of what I am talking about here.

While the benefits of hard work ought to be rewarded, and rewarded handsomely, it is ill advised to take what does not belong to us or even take what is ours before the appointed time. It is equally foolhardy to acquire so much and lose one’s sleep because one wonders when the judge or the police man will come knocking at one’s door. 

The Scripture state thus -
        The sleep of the labouring man is sweet,
Whether he eats little or much;
But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep. ( Ecc 5:12)


This is my prayer to the Lord –

                Two things I request of You
(Deprive me not before I die):
Give me neither poverty nor riches (of course I would love to be rich as long as I don’t forget my God-Ed.)
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
                Lest I be full and deny you,
And say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God...

(Proverbs 30: 7 -9) NKJV


Thursday, April 04, 2019

A Sobering thought

.... God uses anyone but compromises not

Moses the Prophet, a.k.a Prince of Egypt used to stammer. In his own words, he was not eloquent, neither before nor since (the Lord had) spoken to ...him; but (was) slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10).  Moses was also –in current legal speak- a murder suspect for he had killed an Egyptian who he found whipping an Israelite slave.  It seems that the law of Egypt was very strict with regard to killing.  It didn’t matter that Moses was a Prince (better put, he was raised as a Prince in the house of Pharaoh). For Moses did run away from the land of Egypt when he realised that he was wanted by none other than Pharaoh himself (Exodus 2:15).  This was the second time Moses’ life was in danger. The first time being when he was born (Exodus 1:15-22). Moses thus remained in exile until the men (probably relatives of the deceased) who wanted him dead had died that Moses would go back to Egypt. (Exodus 4:19) 

So there was Moses – a man who stammered and who was a fugitive running from the law(reminds me of the movie by a similar name acted by Harrison Ford). Moses also gave many other reasons as to why he was not the kind of leader or messenger that God wanted. (Exodus 4). He was such an ill equipped coward, with a plethora of excuses - even pleading with God to send someone else instead of him. At some point, the Lord was angry with Moses for his ineptitude (Exodus 4:14). If I were asked to choose a leader, I would not have chosen Moses. 

However, in spite of this seemingly horrible 'curriculum vitae,' God still chose to use this 'Prince of Egypt -cum- murder suspect.' You see, God is no respecter of persons. His favour is not fair. He sees beyond our incompetencies. 

Let us not forget that in addition to forgetting to have his sons circumcised (which also almost led the Lord to kill him if it wasn't for the intervention of his wife Zipporah- Exodus 4:24-26), Moses also had a nasty temper. (The same that got him into trouble with Pharaoh the first time). The Scriptures say -his anger burned- and he threw the “mosaic laws” down (Exodus 32:19). His anger also caused him to hit the rock twice instead of speaking to it ( Numbers 20: 8-12).  I actually think that during their conversations, God warned Moses about his temper. This inference is made because the Scriptures say that the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to a friend. (Exodus 33:11). What an amazing experience that was. Indeed when he would returned to the Israelites, his countenance would change – the skin of his face shone- and he had to wear a veil for the people feared him (Exodus 34:29). So Moses, in spite of his anger issues, was so close to God and God did use him.

Do not get me wrong. I am not trying to insinuate that our sins and shortcomings are of no consequence. My meditation here is that while God will use you regardless of your shortfalls, circumstances and personality, he will still expect his standards to be upheld.  In the case of Moses, God tells him in no equivocal terms that he will not see the promised land “because (Moses) didn’t follow (God), to hallow (God) in the eyes of the children of Israel ...” (Numbers 20:12). 

I suspect that God knew that Moses strongly desired to see the promised land and yet God was not going to allow Moses to see it as a punishment for his unbridled anger. In fact Moses tried on several occasions to ask God to reverse the decision but to no avail.  In Deuteronomy 3: 23, Moses writes thus -

23 “Then I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying: 24 ‘O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your [e]mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds? 25 I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon.’
26 “But the Lord was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So the Lord said to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift your eyes toward the west, the north, the south, and the east; behold it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. 28 But command[f] Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see.’
29 “So we stayed in the valley opposite Beth Peor.

The above Scripture shows that God was not about to compromise his standards simply because He was using Moses or talking to him as a friend. I suspect that we would all  have expected GOD to turn a blind eye to Moses’ error and probably excuse it in light of the many other things that Moses had already done. We often would expect the same treatment in case we are in similar situations.  However, God's standards are uncompromisable.  Even when Jesus would later be on the cross, carrying all the sins of the world, God turned away from his own Son. Jesus, feeling the rejection, cried out - eloi eloi lama sabachthani (My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? (Psalm 22:1, Mathew 27: 46)

Similarly, in the case of Moses, the words of William Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar come to mind- “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones”. This painful reality means - that save for Jesus Christ – we were all short of the standard of God ( Romans 3:23) and whereas He will use us, it is only because of Christ that we stand before Him. Otherwise, we are unworthy regardless of our gifting. 

Similarly, in the case of King David, (the one who killed Goliath, the one God said was a man after His (God’s) own heart), the Almighty God went ahead to declare, through the words of Prophet Nathan that 'the sword will never depart” from David’s house because David had “despised (God) and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite (for his own) (2 Samuel 12:10). The Lord also decreed that David’s wives would also be taken from before his eyes in the sight of the sun and whatever he had done secretly would be repaid in full day light (Vs. 11-12). What a humbling and painful process that was for David.  In the process, David’s concubines would not only be defiled by his own son Absalom (who he dearly loved), (2 Samuel 16:22) but he would have to face rebellion engineered by this very son – and then lose the son in battle. What a price to pay!

Like Moses before him, David repented. He asked God to create in him a clean heart and renew a right spirit within him. (Psalm 51) He also tried to intercede for the life of his new born son who the Lord had already decreed would die. In 2 Samuel 12: 16, he 'pleaded with God for the boy. He fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground' (Vs. 16) but 'the child died on the seventh day' (vs. 18). David’s actions were because he hoped that 'God would be gracious to (him) that the child may live”. (vs. 22).[1] 

David responded by asking God for forgiveness , just like Moses before him.  It is no wonder that the Lord had said David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

We can juxtapose the above examples with Eli and Hezekiah who were also used by the Lord in the positions of High Priest and King, respectively. These two didn’t respond like either David or Moses. For Eli, when the Lord warned him about his corrupt sons Hophni and Phinehas in 1 Samuel 2: 27 -36, there is no indication that Eli either repented on their behalf or did anything to either relieve them of their duties or chastise them in spite of hearing what they were doing (verse 22).[2] 

The second warning to Eli in I Samuel 3:11-17 only received a lacklustre response from the old Priest when, in answer to God’s fore coming judgement as told to Samuel, Eli only said – It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him.  Similarly, Hezekiah – he who the Bible says was like no other King in Judah (2 Kings 18:5), having been told that the mistake he had made of showing his enemies the treasures of his Kingdom, would lead to their enslavement, only responded thus – The Word of the Lord which you have spoken is good! For he said  “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?” (2 Kings 20:19)

The aforementioned responses by Hezekiah and Eli certainly elicited unfortunate events. Take note that whereas David was restored to his throne and He did continue to commune with God, (in fact God loved the second son that was born to David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12: 24), and whereas after the death of Moses, the Israelites did go ahead to the promised land and Moses would later reappear to Jesus in Mathew 17:2, the same is not true for Eli – whose sons were killed in battle and –as decreed by the Lord and a new “faithful priest who (did) according to what was in (the Lord’s) heart and ... mind”(verse 35) was chosen to “walk before the (Lord’s) annointed forever”(verse 35). For Hezekiah, the Israelites would pay a heavy price of being enslaved to Babylon for very many years.

The lesson here for me is a powerful and sobering one. I might be used by the Lord and indeed the Lord uses us regardless. The Scriptures says that God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). However, we cannot be comfortable and think that our indiscretions will go unpunished or that they do not have consequnces.  ( O God help me). This is a powerful rebuke to me. It is also a humbling reminder. May the Lord help me to keep a clean house. May He help me to overcome my bad habits, my sins and anything else that so easily entangles. (Hebrews 12:1) Obviously, on my own, I cannot do it. I need the Lord Jesus Christ to be by my side.


Dear Lord, this revelation is a tough one. I know that you died for my sins. I know that I am your beloved. I know that you care about me and have blessed me in immeasurable ways. Father, thank you for the opportunity to see the greatness of who you are. I thank you for using me in many ways. I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and those you have put under my charge.  Lord, I pray today that you forgive me of my sins and all things in my life that fall short of your glory. Forgive me Lord. There is no excuse.  Give me strength and grit to be what you have called me to be. Help me to stand in purity, holiness, justice and righteousness. I repent of my sins and ask for your Holy Spirit to walk with me every day and help me to be the son that you will be proud of. In Jesus  Name. Amen.

[1] Verse 14 states that since David’s act had “given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child would die. (vs. 14) It seems however that the Lord was trying to break an iniquity. Since David had been born out of wedlock, the Lord wasn’t about to let any of his (David’s) children suffer the same fate. This is probably why the Lord loved Solomon who he named Jedidiah. ( Verse 24)
[2] The Lord mentions this to the boy Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:11, to wit – For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.