Monday, March 27, 2017

ANDREW KAWEESI AND THE TRAGEDY OF OUR WASTEFULNESS

Last week Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Kawesi was mowed down in cold blood outside his home by motor bike riding assassins.

Kawesi, who had only made 43 in January, was the rising stars in the police, the head of a new generation of leadership in the force.

"His loss is a tragedy not only because of the nature of his death and because he died young and because he had a young family and because he held so much promise, but also because his career was a gamble that did not pay off...

A gamble because a lot was invested in him in anticipation of big things ahead, dreams that were ripped apart in a hail of gunfire that shattered last Friday morning’s pre-weekend routine.

In the last few millions of years that life has existed on this planet, nature has found a way to continue. Floods, earth quakes, plagues, genocide, slavery, colonialism and any number of natural or manmade disasters have come along and done their worst but life, like hope, always springs eternal.

This would not have been possible if nature had placed its bets for survival on a handful of species. 

Don’t have one specii of ants or animals or plants have hundreds, thousands even millions. And when the threats to survival show their heads, as they do every so often, the fittest will survive give birth to an even fitter specii. But even then mutations occur within the specii ensuring that when the next disaster comes around some will survive. The basis for Darwinian natural selection.

This process is going on every day, every hour and every second at all levels of life.

Nature understands, to the extent that there exists a universal conscience, that survival is a numbers game.

When we joined university more than 20 years ago they said that of all the kids we joined primary school with only 0.2 percent of us had made it to Makerere University.

Now there has been a dramatic increase in university in enrollment – we were on 2000 who made it to university in our day but now total university enrolment is upwards of 50,000 annually.

It is true that the cream always rises to the top. It is also true that the more milk you have the more cream there is to rise to the top.

The challenge for us as a nation is that we are way behind the curve not only in our infrastructure and savings but most especially in our human resource.

"A study reported in The Economist about two years ago showed that between human resource and infrastructure development, emphasis should be placed on human resource development. The thinking being that quality individuals in an environment of inadequate infrastructure will find a way to either transcend the problem or bridge it anyway. The opposite – good infrastructure with poor human resource, is an almost unsalvageable situation...

In a situation where there are only a few stars, it only serves to inflate the egos of the stars but does little for the general population.

That Kawesi – as he has been described variously, was the one officer who stood out is testament to his application and diligence, but is also an indictment on the ability of the police force to recruit and retrain talent.

And Ugandan society as whole. The police is not the only institution like this.

As a society we need to first recognise and then appreciate that our people are our biggest resource, which can be leveraged as a force for good or weigh us down.

Maybe because we have high birth rates we treat the population as an infinite resource. We need to change that, urgently.


Let Kawesi ‘s passing serve as an eye opener, a call to action to look out our human resource development as a nation if we are not to be held to ransom by every two-bit terrorist.

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