By Titus Kakembo
Karamoja affairs state minister Agnes Nandutu drove Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to the brink of tears during the unfurling of a Nutritional Situational Report at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel on September 27, 2022.
Nabbanja arrived at 3:00pm and found Nandutu presenting, in graphic detail, how mothers are reluctant to breastfeed in order to keep their breasts firm to appeal to the desires of men.
“I will be point blank; the Government is not responsible for children being stunted in Uganda,” began an irate Nandutu, “It is the men who place mothers on the edge, threatening to get prettier young girls with firm breasts. This makes the poor mothers deny their babies breast milk and resort to other options to please the selfish men. Ironically, these selfish men enjoy suckling and cuddling what they deny their own children. This is what has left one child out of 10 being severely stunted after being denied breast milk, which is not only medicinal, but highly nutritional.”
Nabbanja cupped her chin and fingered her masked face in dismay before Nandutu detailed the habits of men in Karamoja.
“The Uganda Bureau Of Statistics (UBOS) show that what men in Karamoja and Kampala do is the same. As the women look for food and take care of the home, the men are guzzling beer, watching Premier League, and wolfing down roasted chicken. This, according to UBOS, leaves nine out of 100 children being born weighing less than they are expected to.”
Switching gears, Nabbanja said there is plenty of good news for drought-stricken Karamoja from the Government.
“These findings coincide with the Government securing food for drought-stricken Karamoja. On top of that, this is in addition to seeds that mature in three weeks to address the food shortage in that part of Uganda. We have got enough food to feed the populace out there,” stressed Nabbanja. “On top of that, we are in the process of implementing permanent solutions for Karamoja through goat distribution, planting of fruits trees and other crops that mature in three weeks.”
This did not stop Nandutu from calling for a mindset change in the entire Uganda populace if nutrition is to improve among the entire populace.
“There are cultures that prohibited women from eating chicken, fish, and meat,” lamented Nandutu. “In some cultures, an obese woman is a symbol of her husband’s economic and social status. The bigger she is, the more successful the family is.”
The audience comprising of diplomats, Members of Parliament, the donor community, activists, NGOs, and the media raised their eyebrows in surprise.
The chairperson of the Parliament Forum on Food Security, Population and Development, Anthony Akol, minced no words about his views.
“There is a need for a mindset change in our communities,” argued Akol. “There are people who associate being fat with success, eating meat as a symbol of success and feeding on vegetables as an indicator of failure.”
Come lunchtime and the buffet had the soup bowels empty, steamed and mashed bananas were done, leaving many diners angry.