I speak for the bush….
Anyone remember that poem? Well, I do. Just the title though. It was one of those ones where the metaphors and phonetics were on another level and given the fact that I read it during my teenage prime (Uganda’s case Senior Four/Form 4) I dont think I can remember.
But well, the title fits perfectly…I SPEAK FOR THE BUSH.
Well, if you have been closely following my blog, or if you haven’t, well, the predecessor to this article talks a lot about Lazy African Intellectual Scum…and I agree with the article totally and I feel that WE as an African people need to change. Then again, it recently dawned on me…not almost every intellectual scum that is African is lazy.
Take an example of Assoc. Prof. Philip Kwesiga, youngest Dean at 32 years of age, graduated with a first class, retained by the school to teach, and also surprisingly, my Father…this here is one hard working fella. He may not reflect it, sometimes passing off as aloof and a snob but am told by his students that he’s fun to listen too, a great orator and best of all, a good lecturer.
This besides the point, he recently applied for the post of Deputy Vice Chancellor Makerere, Finance and well, he was the best candidate after deliberation but due to his quiet and humble ways, a few people felt that that was not good enough for Makerere. That they needed someone who was all noise and noise. Well, I know him, soft spoken indeed, but he is quite stern when it comes to doing his business. When we heard of this news, well we were elated.
But recently, news trickled in that the Senate had refused to vote for this position, citing that again, they needed a noise maker. Well, that still wasn’t the issue. The claimed that his marks were still not enough. Now that is where it got me going.. Makerere University sits TWO Deputy Vice Chancellors, one finance, the other administration. The DVC (Deputy Vice Chancellor) for administration was passed with a mark of 64% and Assoc. Prof. Phillip Kwesiga, with a 64% rating wasn’t. This was confusing.
My old man, being the humble and reserved man that he is, sat down and let everything go. Disappointed in the system, he felt intellectually, making noise, never really solved the problem at hand. The post for DVC Finance was re-tendered. Seeing this injustice pass by, a colleague of his told him that there was really unfair. Why would they pass one candidate with the same mark and fail the other. The same colleague told him that overall, he was the best, that he would have gotten more marks but a few pessimists in t he system with their own candidates in mind, didn’t want it to happen.
My old man, disappointed and angered, wrote a letter to the council, requesting for senate to sit down and reconsider their position as to why the didn’t give the BEST candidate the position. Claiming that one was not a noise maker was a lot of poppycock, and how was one going to make noise if they weren’t in the position. Someone who had been first class from his graduate years till now, a leader, humble, dignified, being denied the opportunity of a life time, to lead at one of the great institutions in Uganda, Africa at large, and all you have to say is he is not a ‘noise-maker’.
Brings me to tears when the so called cream of the cream, the top dogs, the best of the best, act like foolish young children fighting for a sweet, a sweet they didn’t buy, a sweet that is supposed to benefit the students. Why oh why should old men act like young children. The same people who come to class and teach, preach actually of their excellence, attained, fighting like rabid dogs looking for a fling with the stray bitch.
The council did consider this an INJUSTICE and requested the senate to resit and ponder on the decisions they had made. Why wasn’t the best candidate chosen. They did that today, and upon agreeing that this was an injustice, and that re-tendering the position was unfair when they had the best candidate, they decided to scrap off the position. Africans. Yes, the position for DVC Finance is no longer existent. The best candidate failed, not by his actions, but by a system that has refused to accept change. By a system full of selfish minds.
It was also brought to light that 2 years ago, when Assoc. Prof. Philip Kwesiga stood for the position, he came out top, but they felt it regional imbalance for the two top fellas seated at the helm of Makerere University, the VC and the DVC to come from the same area, so his opponent took the position on that little glitch. Patient and humble, he bid his time, and this time, well, they blame it on noise making.
Sources say that again, regionalism/race/tribalism were the key issues. People didn’t want him in that same position. The INJUSTICE fellow Africans are throwing at others based on this is just disgusting, narcissist and shallow. Men with visions do not need tribe, race to determine their actions. Men with values do not do such kinds of things.
I am not crying out for help. I have been taught well by my father. You get what you deserve. Always work for it. Keep your values at the forefront and with time, even no one can come between you and your values. Injustice indeed. My view on the creme that lead this shattered University, well, I dont really care. Why? Well, they say that you are 90% your attitude, and if such is the case, where people fail first class thinkers, I reserve my humble thoughts on this matter.
I look forward to the time when leaders are chosen by merit, action and vision, not race, tribe and region.
I look forward to a time when previous actions tell someone’s intention.
I look forward to a time when lecturers and the senate stop acting like the failed system they are quick to blame.
I look to a time when someone is actually rewarded for the hard work and effort they put into something.
I know him a s a just man, understanding, wise, learned and educated but most of all, a great leader.
Assoc. Prof. Philip Kwesiga for DVC Finance.