Dear Karamagi

My brother Andrew.

On 31st January 2014, as I perused Lydia Namubiru’s Facebook timeline, I found this; “If marriage was on my to-do list, I would ask Karamagi Andrew to marry me. His life is just too interesting! I want the scoop of it every day.”

I clicked on the link, that the comment was announcing.

“Drama ensued at the High Court in Kampala on Thursday afternoon when an activist identified as Andrew Karamagi attacked Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, and roughed him up.”, Chimp Reports wrote. I knew that was sensationalist. You are not able to rough up anyone. You must have done something more noble, I told myself.


Andrew, an employee of Human Rights and Peace Centre at Makerere University, is one of the brains behind the Black Monday campaign, that aims at isolating public officials who embezzle government funds.

What I later learnt from checking numerous updates about your matter was that all you did was walk towards the Attorney General, pick the paper on which his speech was written and confiscate it. This is the version I have concluded is accurate, from my knowledge of your diplomacy. The Police bounded you up and as I type this, you are incarcerated in the Central Police Station cells.

I am a big time coward Andrew, in comparison to you. We have shared ideals some of which I have only lived up to after numerous attempts but your steadfastness and courage has seen you overcome obstacles much easily. When I finished my undergraduate degree course in Law, I knew for sure that I had no interest in a postgraduate diploma in Legal Practice. Like you, I knew that was not my path. But Andrew, I was not as strong as you, who did not even spend time sitting the pre-entry exams. Had you been ahead of me Andrew, I would have derived courage from your refusal to waste time in the name of conformity. So, I did the exams, even studied the whole course to the end. I only gathered courage at the tail end. You did not spend any of your time, while you knew what you wanted.

There are few people I know who follow what their sense of right and wrong tells them. You are one of those few and the act of tearing the Attorney General’s speech at a gathering of the who is who in the legal profession confirms what I have always known about you my friend. It is of no use to know what is right and do nothing to realise that it prevails.

I am sending you strength in those cells, and I know by the time you join us cowards, you shall have convinced one or two or even more inmates about the need for us to stand up to defend what we think is right.


Andrew Karamagi in the Central Police Station cells. Photo by Eunice Musiime

Your brother;