Bro. William Okello's Testimony
The conclusion of the war removed the darkness of the dreaded government that had blanketed the nation for so many years. The expectation of the people was that of immediate economic recovery and prosperity. But this was no more than a delusional dream. The economy went into regression and total collapse, much worse that anything that had happened before. Manufactures, especially salt, sugar, soap and cooking oil simply disappeared from the shop shelves. Traders who could obtain these items took to the practice of “hoarding” and charging exorbitant prices. Only cultivated crops appeared in the market in fairly reasonable quantities. The new government that came in was recognised as “a filler” and thus temporary. It too knew this and did not care much about economic recovery except how to consolidate itself in power. In this way, two governments fell in the space of about one and a half years due to political squabbles.
To sustain ourselves, we had to plant crops in the available plots of land in the city, precisely as we had done before at Entebbe. We also became dependent on our relatives in the village to supply us with food for sustenance. This made a mockery of us being employed workers who ought to be the helpers of our relatives and not them of us.
To compound the economic woes of the country, the first famine in living memory struck in 1980. This was due to severe drought, which led to crop failures in many parts of the country. The nation then became dependent on “famine relief” from the West especially the USA. Huge quantities of yellow corn powder were sent in and delivered mainly to the north east of the country where the people were beginning to die from starvation.
About that time, a white brother came to live with my family. We thought he was from Germany but a few years ago I found out he was actually from Canada. He appeared to be some kind of an End-Time Message evangelist and so we accommodated him. Because of the “famine relief” programme, my family had come to know about the warehouses where the yellow corn powder was stored and also the location of the distribution offices. The body responsible for distributing the yellow corn powder had decided that the food was only for the seriously affected parts of the country and not for the city inhabitants. They were whites too and because we had this white brother in our house, we showed him the location of the warehouses and offices. We asked him to approach this charity and see if he could secure some supplies to relieve the believers in the country. Before he could do this however, my family became unhappy with his conduct and so we parted ways.
After leaving us, this brother went and secured large quantities of “famine relief” (I seem to recall two lorries full of corn bags) and handed it to other believers in one part of the country. He did not give my family a single bag, despite the fact that we were the ones who had initiated this. Talk of being tested and tried by fellow believers? I have seen it all, and not once. The thing to do is pray that the root of bitterness does not arise in your heart for according to Scripture that leads to defilement.
(Next: Death in the family)