Peter Philip Kairu | General Orders
Philip Peter Kairu
Disability in Uganda is seen as a sensitive topic, and often disabled people feel abandoned and neglected, or even feared by people. Disability is defined as being of a condition significantly impaired, relative to the usual standard of an individual or group.
For 42 years, Mutuba Pascio was an energetic and hardworking father who, while on break from his job, taught young people how to drive, and interacted with his community whenever he could. He recalls life when he was a bread winner for his family; his wife and children, and being able to do his chores and activities by himself.
In order to provide for his family, Pascio took a contract with a company named Triple Canopy Inc, and went to Iraq to work as a military contractor. His day-to-day life was governed by three guiding principles, known as the General Orders. These are rules which every soldier serving under US command must abide by at all times.
‘He will guard everything within the limits of his post and quit only when properly relieved,
He will obey his special orders and perform all his duties in a military manner, and,
He will report violations of his special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in his instructions, to the commander of the relief.’
In June 2009, however, Pascio’s left arm had to be totally amputated from the shoulder after he was hit by a large truck while on duty at Camp Prosperity in Baghdad. In the same accident he broke six ribs, six teeth, and his jaw was broken. As a result of his wounds Pascio was retired from the army and returned home for treatment.
Nowadays Pascio's morning starts at 9AM, and he has his breakfast by 11AM. For the rest of the day he either takes short walks to meet with friends in a nearby trading centre, or stays at home and watches television while his family do the household chores.
Pascio is one of many contractors whose lives were changed forever by the American war in Iraq, named Operation Freedom. He sits, surrounded by pictures of himself in uniform, and keeps his General Orders carefully folded.