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Dr Oledo’s kneeling gesture before Museveni divides Lango social media users

Dr Oledo’s name has become a sweet topic of discussion by broadcasters and radio callers, with most of them disparaging the doctor using chauvinistic tones.
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Dr Oledo in front (M) with his kneeling group. Courtesy photo

Last Updated on: 15th December 2022, 03:30 pm

Dr Oledo is being told to step down as UMA president for his kneeling gesture before President Museveni last week.


 

Lira – December 9, 2022: An action by Dr. Sam Oledo, the President of Uganda Medical Association (UMA), a body that brings together more than 7,000 medical practitioners in the country to lead a group of fellow doctors to kneel before President Yoweri Museveni and urge him to stand for the-still far-away-2026 presidential elections has generated heated debates in the country.

Dr .Oledo, together with some doctors (interns) stunned Ugandans last week when they knelt down and not only commended Museveni for a job well done in the health sector, but went political to urge the veteran politician from Rwakitura to appear on the ballot papers come 2026.

Museveni, 78, retorted by asking the kneeling doctors to focus on service delivery, saying time for politics is still a distant thing away.

Like Newton’s Third Law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, the gesture which has been baptized as the “Kneeling Doctor(s)” is something that will take a long time to be forgotten.

The matter soon became a hot item on the lips of every editor and reporter as well as commentators and social media users, all giving views and opinions depending on which lenses they are using.

Fellow medical officers under UMA initiated a kind of censure motion demanding that the openly-NRM apologist, Dr Oledo step down to pave way for full investigations into what they termed as “breach of professional ethics by their leader”.

Back at home in the northern region and Lango sub region in particular, Dr Oledo’s name became a sweet topic of discussion by broadcasters and radio callers, with most of them disparaging the doctor using chauvinistic tones.

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In one of the WhatsApp groups known as “LANGO ONOTE” with more than 500 members both within and in the diaspora, the topic has raged nonstop for almost a week.

To start with, former Oyam South MP, Issah Otto Amiza is not amused that a well trained and experienced medical officer can stoop that low in search of what he calls ‘food’ at the expense of professionalism.

Otto, who is a celebrated critic of the ruling NRM party, argues that the medical profession that Oledo chose comprises very distinguished persons whose integrity cannot be sold for mere recognition.

“…where is your conscience, you mean whatever you say is just to appease or expect hate, what that man did is despicable and degrading…,” ranted Otto who subscribes to the UPC splinter group led by lawyer Peter Mukidi Walubiri.

Some female commentators on the forum also reduced the matter to some jokes. Some of them earlier said the action of the medical officer now means they will no longer kneel before their husbands.

We have been kneeling before our husbands thinking they are real men, now the whole team of medical doctors is competing with us in what we thought we knew best, so let them lead…,” a woman on the forum commented.

A radio broadcaster attached to Unity FM Billie Otto who is also councilor to Oyam District Council humorously hit on female members on the forum. He said, “While they (women) pretend to be kneeling in front of their husbands, others actually are in their hearts.”

“…you give what you have, when you have a good heart that’s what you give out, when you have love for other people, that’s what you will always give,” remarked Otto.

Also, a number of social media users have welcomed Oledo’s gesture as a strategic approach in the current Uganda where one must use every opportunity available to make a point.

Caesar Obada who is an administrator on the forum argues that as a devout Roman Catholic Christian he finds no problem in “the Oledo gesture” since it’s a sign of respect.

“…as long as you are a material of value, I will kneel with ease…and I cannot lose a thing, I am a Catholic who kneels for my seniors…this has never made me lose my faith and manhood,” Obada defended and rebuked others to stop using cheap arguments.

Others have gone ahead to plead with Dr Oledo to include them in another meeting with President Museveni so that they kneel even for hours while singing songs of praises just to get something nice to bring back home.

While the forum has a number of top government officials including politicians like State Minister for Labor Col. Charles Okello Engola (Oyam North MP), Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng (Lira City Woman MP), NRM Chief Whip Denis Hamson Obua (Ajuri MP), UPC President Jimmy Akena (Lira City East), Gender Minister Betty Amongi (Oyam South) and the Uganda Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, among others, none of them have bothered to share even an emoji as a comment on the topic.

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