John Maxwell says that, the culture you have is the culture you have accepted. The implicit behaviors, mindsets, and social patterns we have formed a culture that not only those at the top will break but it will take every Ugandan wherever they are placed to change it.
As a nation, leaders and citizens, we have affirmed the above truth in a negative image. We have tolerated so many vices that are turning around to eat the very fabric of our society like a cancer.
Last week I looked at the police reports and the numbers about the road accidents were alarming!
In 2022, a total number of common traffic offences was 456,993 and 92, 029 of these were due to people driving cars that were in good condition, 78,693 careless or inconsiderate use of motor vehicles, 4,699 carrying of passengers on motor vehicle in such numbers in such position as to be likely to interfere with safe driving among others.
As a country, we lost 4,534 people to road accidents, had 15,227 obtain serious injuries and 1,712 obtained minor injuries. The report said that 62% of all the accidents occurred during day time and 61% of all the accidents were as a result of reckless driving. How sad!
These numbers do give us a glimpse of the root cause of this evil in our society. Hopefully this should communicate to decision makers on how to deal with the root of the evil not its symptoms.
Before we go into castigation and finger pointing, allow me say this .There are so many gallant police officers and traffic officers to be specific, that are doing a very commendable job. Their commitment to their duty and assignment is commendable and we salute them.
That said, it’s the bad apples that tarnish the image of the Police Forces and the amazing work they are doing. The cancerous corruption and bribery on our roads is largely to blame for most of these horrific accidents. Other causes notwithstanding. You have to look at the number of Dangerous Mechanic condition Vehicles (D.M.Cs) on our roads to not conclude otherwise.
You might be wondering, it’s not the police officers that put these dangerous cars on our roads! True, it’s the errant citizens. But then, you can’t help but wonder, how is it that, year in year out, these vehicles keep on increasing on our roads under the watchful eye of our police officers?
It can’t be out of sheer incompetence! If it is, then it’s motivated incompetence! The number of accidents caused by DMCs seems to double every year!
Recently I travelled to Kasese via Bushenyi, and it was annoying being in a taxi which is legally supposed to carry 14 passengers proudly go through all check points with 22 passengers. Of course that was possible because of the behind the vehicle quick conversation with the traffic officers.
Dear service men, our dear police officers, every time you accept a bribe and wave forward that over loaded vehicle, that DMC, you are signing off a death sentence..
Not only are you putting the driver and the vehicle occupants in danger, but so many other road users as well. And who knows, someone close to you, your kith and kin could partake of the wrath in case of an accident.
Dear citizens, every time you cut corners with that garage visit, and settle for cheap quick fixes and shoddy spare parts, you are a danger to yourself and society.
A small bribe might buy you time to do your next errand, or make you extra money, but it’s bringing you closer to an early grave.
It always amazes me how we are quick to blame President for every problem. But realistically the president can’t be everywhere, and that is why there are MDAs with workers and other Government bodies.
It is high time as Ugandans we take on the responsibility to save, protect and take ownership of our lives and our country. Uganda can be a beautiful Nation if we all take collective responsibility, especially if we have been entrusted with a Government office.
It’s an honor and a huge responsibility to be appointed as a public servant. Serve your country with integrity and reverence of your duty and position. Be equal to the task you are given, then the citizenry will follow your exemplary conduct.