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how to be… Gen Aronda Nyakairima


Gentle giant: Fallen Internal Affairs minister, Aronda Nyakairima was a calm man for his huge frame and profession as a soldier. He preferred to let results speak for themselves. Ian Ford Nkera guides you on how to be like the former Chief of Defence Forces in this tribute.
If you are the sort of person at work who is always slacking on assignments, a nuisance to both workmates and your boss and a person who basically does his work fwaa without any attention to detail and conviction, my humble question is “Why do you still have a job?”
You find a chap sulking at his workplace every day like he is serving a life sentence. No one is forcing you to work so you can hand in your resignation letter!
Fallen soldier Aronda Nyakairima (RIP) was different. He was a calm and collected gentleman who served the country diligently in the different designations he was assigned.
Aronda was a man of few words who most times let his work do the talking. As UPDF’s commander, he was pivotal in driving rebel leader Joseph Kony out of northern Uganda among many other operations he spearheaded. For the 30-year-olds who still carried around their Primary School IDs as identification, he rescued you with a national ID (Amen to that). It is a task that was stuck but rejuvenated by Gen Aronda when he was Minister of Internal Affairs. If you want to be like the general, here is your guide.

Calm and collected
Such a gentleman! You felt that Aronda was too much of a gentleman for the ‘katemba’(comedy) that has become of our politics. One would have expected a person whose day job was fighting Kony to strike you as this arrogant tyrant. But to everyone’s shock, the guy was always calm, quiet to a fault and very respectful too. If you want to be like Aronda, you must learn that every situation or argument doesn’t always require your opinion. It’s not a must that you have to comment on anything. It’s sad that Ugandans always feel the need to have an opinion on anything. Now imagine a chap like MP Geoffrey Ekanya “strangling” himself with a tie to put a point across. It’s something that you would never find Gen Aronda doing. When you find two co-wives fighting in a muzigo somewhere, you can always walk away instead of appointing yourself the referee.

Be a diligent servant
I know chaps who go up in arms when their salaries delay by a week. Can you imagine? As in, the dude will draft a resignation letter and will shout for his boss mbu his rights are being violated. This is how you know that their job doesn’t mean much to them. These are the same chaps that are always praying for the weekend to come so that they can do sports betting. To be like Gen Aronda Nyakairima, work selflessly. Be that guy who is willing to work happily on Sundays even if it is difficult. Put work before anything else. Be the guy who would cancel his wedding for a work assignment. If you have never done anything for your country, it’s never too late. Just because you own a bar and have served so many people drinks, it doesn’t mean you have served the whole country. You are ruining it my friend.
A true patriot
Gen Nyakairima loved his country. You can’t say that about many other Ugandans. I don’t know many people who would make it their life’s purpose to protect a country from the likes of Joseph Kony. There are surely other things to do. I am sure he would have felt comfortable sitting at his ranch in Rukungiri watching his cows multiply. He sent Joseph Kony and his group packing into the thickets of DR Congo and the forests of Central African Republic to bring sanity in northern Uganda. If you want to be like Gen Aronda Nyakairima, you must have your country at heart. Be that one civil servant who won’t steal the government coffers dry. That’s one way to love your country. Gen Aronda was never named in any corruption scandals. If you are a civil servant who thirsts over taxpayers money, ignore the cravings. Pray over it, if you must.
There you have it. Go ahead and be like the late Gen Aronda Nyakairima, ,who was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Rukungiri at the weekend.
This is a humour column and the views expressed henceforth may not neccesarily be an objective assessment of the individual.

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