Last weekend, photographs showing a baboon plucking off tiles from the roof of Busoga College Mwiri went viral on social media.
The baboon’s actions did not go down well within a section of the public who hold the institution in high esteem especially the almuni of one of the oldest education institutions in Uganda, with several of them openly expressing their anger towards the disrespectful primate.
Luckily, authorities swang into action and arrested the animal, handicuffed it, and had its photo shared on social media; possibly to calm the tempers of Old boys and Girls who were still seething with anger.
But Gawaya Tegulle, a Senior Lawyer is not happy with the action taken by authorities and the gesture of people celebrating the arrest of the innocent creature.
Tegule says the action of arresting the baboon and parading it in handicuffs is not only cruel but also degrading its individual rights.
On his Facebook Page, Gawaya Tegulle posted;
“…I want to know whether he has a lawyer…if not, i will be happy to represent him probono. Someone tell me which police station he has been taken to so that we process police bond in the meantime”
When this reporter contacted him over the matter involving the baboon, he said:
“Oh, that’s my client. As an animal rights defender, I don’t like people mistreating animals. It’s just a monkey! And you put it in handicuffs? It’s wrong and I take it seriously”
Tegulle expressed concern that Animal rights are still among those which are not respected in Uganda, which is very unfortunate.
He says animals cannot talk and like in the case of young children, it’s wrong to mistreat them. He says every right-thinking member of society should condemn the act of handicuffing an innocent baboon.
It is not clear what steps were taken by authorities after arresting the baboon and Tefule said he did not follow up because he understands that it would be a futile attempt considering the poor attitude of Ugandans towards animal rights.
“We need animal right’s Institutions to come up and grow a strong and rapid response team that can rescue such animals because they need our protection.” He said.