We Should Not Kill Each Other Over Politics [interview]

Ingrid Turinawe, chairperson of the Women’s League Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) talked to Joan Akello about activism

Things we don’t know about you?

I’m simple, and humble but when situations dictate, then I use the appropriate face. Like now, our campaign to save the lives of the 19 pregnant women who die daily during child birth is being fought. In Senior Three, the administration cancelled Visitation Day abruptly but we opened the gate. I was suspended.

How did you become an iron lady?

I’m not made of iron but committed to deliver the country and I learnt it from my mother who was married with four other women competing for one man and land.

Why are there fewer women in our politics?

Women are selfish some have been in parliament on affirmative action seats for decades yet it was a grooming ground. Speaker Kadaga has been Kamuli Woman MP for 20 years and she is stuck there. She should give way to other young women and go to the constituency or even go for presidency.

What position do you want?

A politician without ambition is like a hunting dog sitting on its tail. So aspire for the highest even presidency. We are struggling to remove a dictator, when we do, the path way will be clear for us. Museveni uses women to make political and gender statements. Because of ignorance women wear yellow shirts, clapping for a man they do not know does not love them every woman’s day.

So would you support a Natasha or Janet project?

I cannot vote for Janet Museveni though she is a woman.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being contented.

When and where were you happiest?

When I gave birth to my first born in 1993.

What about your marriage?

It wasn’t happy because my father was against it he just accepted to do all the necessary rituals because he said I was too young (19 years) and said I should not regret later. I was guilty but I did it not to disappoint my man.

What is your greatest fear?

God gives us courage and the devil gives fear. I’ve been harassed, arrested, imprisoned with other women but I’ll continue fighting. I don’t fear police or teargas it’s become normal.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I’m a professional teacher but I hate slow learners even outside class.

What is your current state of mind?

Anxious about achieving my goals of raising my children, doing my business, and politics for a better future.

On what occasion do you lie?

To protect somebody.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

If you are handsome and not caring, you are not my ideal man.

Which talent do you admire?

Been singing since childhood but admire better singers like Juliana Kanyomozi especially for her song Woman it touches the struggles of a woman. I’ve composed songs for campaigns and composing another one in case I decide to stand for Rukungiri constituency I contested for the women MP seat twice but was rigged out.

What one thing could you change?

The way we are being governed. We have been fighting for this change.

What is your greatest achievement?

My activism for the last 15 years I have inspired men and women who take me as their role model.

What is your most treasured possession?

My five children.

Where would you most like to live?

With politics, sometimes I wish I wasn’t Ugandan may be an American or somewhere you have the freedom to oppose.

What is the lowest depth of misery?

Betrayal it disappoints, and frustrates.

What is your favorite occupation?

I spend my time thinking of new ideas, planning on how to weaken the dictator the most. Whatever angers me whether I support you or not, I immediately get ideas and oppose you.

Who are your favorite writers?

About activism and revolutionary books like Nelson Mandela, Dr. Diana Russell’s Lives of Courage: Women for a New South Africa like Winnie Mandela who opposed apartheid and were tortured raped but they were victorious.

Which living person do you admire?

Winnie Mandela for her courage. Though members of African National Congress (ANC) thought she was part of a certain controversy, she said she was not. It is demoralizing that her husband was forced to drop her because of the party.

Who are your heroes ?

Rosa Parks is my role model she sparked the struggle against slavery. I am aspiring to be like her.

What is your motto?

I would rather die a lion than live like a rat.

What is your philosophy about the game of politics?

People make it dirty but we should play politics and live in harmony and not kill each other over politics

Any Message to President Museveni?

That he has outlived his usefulness and the longer he stays the more Ugandans will suffer and the more I will oppose him.

Source : The Independent

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