Soroti woman Member of Parliament, Anna Adeke has vowed not to stop exercising her right to speak and protest against what she considers unjust. Speaking to this publication after she was granted bail a few days ago, she said no amount of such arrest and intimidation will cow or silence her from agitating for a free Uganda. Adeke, who is also the Forum Democratic Change (FDC) deputy president and a disciple of strong man Kizza Besigye’s Red card Front is optimistic that the “revolution” will soon usher change seeking Ugandans to the promised land.
She was arrested with Kampala Deputy Lord Mayor Doreen Nyanjura, Suzan Nanyonjo, Mariam Kizito, Among Alice, and Margaret Madanda Wokuri, all FDC women leaders.
Below is our brief chat with Adeke verbatim:
Hello Hon, nice talking to you. Welcome back from Luzira prison.
HON ADEKE: Yes, I came back after being given bail at 1m Shs alongside my sisters, very unfortunate.
We guess this your first time to be arrested later on sent in police coolers, arraigned in court and remanded.
HON ADEKE: First time to be remanded to Luzira prison, yes. But not the first arrest. I have been arrested about 10 times before.
What prompted these fortunate or unfortunate events that saw you and colleagues booked into Luzira?
HON ADEKE: Ours was a demonstration to show discontent with the government’s solution to the sky rocketing prices as well as to register displeasure on how the judiciary is colluding with the executive to slap unreasonable bail terms on activists….
But prices are still high and the government says it can’t do much about it since the current economic squeeze is being dictated by events beyond its control…so, were the demo objectives met?
HON ADEKE: If you have listened intently to KB about this crisis then you will also appreciate that there are some things the government can do including reducing expenditure to follow suit with the economic times…The demos may not cause them to intervene however, our voices have been heard and our concerns are the same as 98% Ugandans. Plus it’s not a one off.
Was it necessary to express your displeasure in that manner? Was it the best option? Couldn’t you have used the floor of Parliament to express your displeasure or engage those concerned privately rather than going on streets?
HON ADEKE: Hahaha! you say that like it’s criminal. Those are my civic rights as a Ugandan. Why would I exercise the right to associate and assemble and express myself? Our action was by us as FDC women in the red card front- not all of us sit in parliament.
Should we expect more of this or the brief stint in prison has humbled and cowed you?
HON ADEKE: Yes. This is not an individual action. We are the red card front for transition so you will see more.
Briefly tell us about your police cells and Luzira experience being your first time.
HON ADEKE: It wasn’t my first time to be in cells. I appreciate the prison wardens for taking care of us in Luzira. Of course one of the biggest challenges is the congestion in prison. It was bad. And this is because of the justice system. We have many people on remand who are unsure of their fate staying too long in prison. You find people who have been waiting for over four years to be committed to the high court! It’s very bad. The facilities are overstretched, especially sanitary facilities. For instance we had over 180 women sharing one bathroom and toilet. It was bad. Imagine what it looked like when water shortages happened. It was very bad.
We have seen and heard from some of those arrested and jailed coming out to allege being intimidated to keep quiet; some being given offers like cash, juicy jobs in exchange for their silence…Did you experience these?
HON ADEKE: Of course yes. Intimidation is always part of it. However, the stage at which our revolution is now, is beyond offers. Our presence here is a conscious decision driven by the ideals we bear for Uganda. That can’t be quantified.
Finally, how is the Red Card Front? Ugandans expected a tsunami! Will you really deliver change seekers to the Promised Land?
HON ADEKE: The Red card front is alive and strong. And we are on course. We have the wake up campaign. Many Ugandans have gone into slumber and we are waking them up to realize that enough is enough. Operating in a military dictatorship is of course not a piece of cake. We are building and those who care to listen will join us.
HON ADEKE: You are most welcome!
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