This week while having lunch with 2 colleagues at work, both whom are my editors, we start cracking jokes about the lockdown in the country and how 2 of our company drivers nearly spent the night in the cells for dropping staff after 7pm curfew time. My two editors are all in a work fitness club where all individuals monitor each other’s progress with fitness routines. Amid the chit-chat over food, we all find ourselves in a conversation about the fatty foods we were having and how the fatty foods ended up on our plates.
In our defense, I tell the two ladies that lunch or dinner these days of the lockdown is about survival – having something to eat other than being selective on healthy foods, something not sustainable. One of the editors then suggests that since choice of foods has become a luxury in the lockdown, perhaps jogging in the evenings or early morning after work would be a good way to go about fitness amid the lockdown and curfew.
‘If you return home from jogging, during curfew hours, only the army will understand – telling from your dress-code, but the LDU officers? You’ll return to your house with bruises caused by kibooko (canes.’ With my left hand holding a fork, and the other hand on my knee, I catch myself in deep thoughts wondering, in these frightening days of coronavirus, how did we all end up here as potential victims of violence perpetuated by LDUs?
LDUs has become the new face of violence. Every time the clock ticks towards curfew time, there are jokes on social media about how we will all land into trouble, should LDUs cross our paths while rushing home during curfew hours. It has been too much, from viral videos of LDU officers beating boda boda riders, women and caning men to an extent that there’s been a pseudo account created in the names of the militia. Violence has become that normal to us.
I think LDUs are a militia created to cover for the sins of Police and the army.
Ugandans are not only dealing with financial stress but now have to deal with emotional stress created by fear from LDUs.