“The educated ones leave, the ones with the potential to right the wrongs. They leave the weak behind. The tyrants continue to reign because the weak cannot resist. Do you not see that it is a cycle? Who will break that cycle?” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
There is something about a man who has run the Republic since 1986. The Republic which is now made in image and with his institutions, with his appointed men and woman. Where his cronies, businesses, lobbyist and friendly voices are living close connected. It is in a Republic with various of bodies working on Corruption and ensuring a legal remedy against it. However, none of them is able, none of them has capacity to follow the Ministries, the Cabinet, the Members of Parliament, the Government Organizations or the Bank of Uganda for that matter. They are all falling short, as the corruption scandals are in all corners of the state and still, the President says he has new remedies to ancient problem of eating on people’s dime without a recite.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has had the opportunity since 1986 to fix this. That is if he really cared about it . Mzee would have done with already, but he doesn’t. Because, he knows the eating of his cronies and himself is rampant. That is why he even sanctioned, the Presidential Handshake and other deals behind the scenes at the State House. That is the way to do business, that is why the Attorney General, Inspector General of Governor, PPDA or the Police Force for that matter. Cannot touch the corrupt souls, because they can walk. Abraham Byandala walking free after ripping away money from UNRA like M&Ms wutg the Mukono-Katosi Road Scam. While the Courts couldn’t find significant evidence and had let him go. Therefore, believing that the President cares about fighting corruption isfar fetch. If he cares he has to capture himself first and we know that is a fish he doesn’t want to fry.
“On Monday December 10th, I will announce new measures and the direction we shall take in our renewed fight against corruption. That said, there is corruption in Uganda. It stems from the colonial times. However, when we undertook the liberation struggle of this country, there were more pressing problems than corruption” (…) “However, corruption will now be defeated. The corrupt civil servants have exposed themselves. The population is angry with them. Also, we now have more educated young people. The pool from which to pick their replacements has grown. The problem now is the law manipulated by corrupt civil servants. We now need quicker methods of accountability to deal with the corrupt. I have the political will but I do not want to deal with them outside the law. There must also be a reflection on the morals of our young people. When setting up the Uganda Revenue Authority, we carefully identified young people to work there. But now, URA has kawunkumi (weevils). We need to deal with it” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 04.12.2018).
To believe the President now is naive, as the deals and arrangement that matters are done behind closed doors. The same is done with the Oil Refinery, Petroleum Pipeline, the licensing for oil exploitation and so on. These are major deals and been postponed. It is already a tax case concerning the oil industry that unleashed the Presidential Handshake. There are already other major donor scandals, not only the recent UNHCR and OPM, who has messed up the allocated aid money, there been the GAVI-FUNDS and CHOGM Funds. There are so many corruption scandals, that the National Resistance Movement, has always found a short-cut to eat of the public plate.
Not only when building road, building buildings, but everywhere. Ghosts of all kinds, expenditure that cannot be found or plans that are only made in the thin air, but would never ever exist. That is the manner of how the NRM and the President are eating on people’s dime. They are not accountable, neither really transparent. That is why there are leaks and documents surfacing proving the ills of society and the misuse of money. Which again and again show the Top Officials and ordered from High Above, who steer the money in their way. They are securing their cut and then the businesses can set-up shop or get the land for a factory, hunting ground or some sort of project. While the people are becoming landless and Internally displaced People in some NGOs Camp. That is how the government have fixed the matters and it happens, again and again.
That is why I have little or no faith in the President and his battle against corruption. If he was serious, he would hurt himself, even go after the likes of Amama Mbabazi, Jim Muhwezi, Salim Selah or Sam Kuteesa, but they are untouchables. Just like the Master himself. Peace.
You would think certain scandals and certain ways of thieving the public funds would be died down. The stories would end and the beneficiary of these scandals want it to go away, as it taints their legacy and remaining words about their time as Public Officials, as Clerics and Civil Servants within the State. However, in the matter of the Presidential Handshake, this whole thing just getting more legs and doesn’t die. It is like the President is proud of his bribing ways and proving a point today.
As the NBS TV reports:
“The High Court in Kampala has issued an interim order stopping the Inspector General of Government (IGG) from investigating and forcing beneficiaries of the 6 billion shillings presidential handshake to refund the money” (…) “The public officials had received the money as a token for their role in the 400-million-dollar Heritage Oil arbitration case which Uganda won” (NBS Television, 13.07.2018).
It is like the whole charade was mocked by the legendary report calling it an ‘error’ but not a crime. To give away public funds to civil servants and public officials, as a handshake after winning a court case. It is like the state doesn’t care about their lack of transparency, as long as the cronies are funded.
My favourite quotes from the report published in May 2017 says:
“This “handshake” expenditure was not budgeted URA activity and therefore, a diversion of the UGX 6 Billion without lawful authority was contrary to the PFMA” (…) “H.E. The President’s approval of this “handshake” was bonafide. However, it was an error of judgement” (…) “That all funds paid out of URA account to the beneficiaries of the “handshake” should be refunded” (…) “The Executive should come up with a Bill within 90 days to regulate and streamline the Presidential Donations Budget” (COSASE, P: 45, 2017).
After my calculation were all well beyong 90 days and nothing fruitful has happen, except now the High Court are saying the non-budgeted and the error of judgement by the President is “okay”. They don’t even have to refund, while there is no bill to regulate or streamline any Presidential Donations Budget, because who would dare to cross the authority of the State House and President at this point of time. No one with a clear mind, who will not end up in prison or lose his or her livelihood.
This is a proof of how little power the Parliament have in the current state, as they cannot even look into or question the Presidential Handshake. They cannot even check into the sudden gifts and donations made by the President. Which is a substantial part of the State House yearly budget.
This isn’t funny, this is a mockery of all the ones paying added taxes and paying for state services, as they are being hold in contempt, where a certain amount of big-men and cronies within the state can eat directly of it, without any consequence. Who knows what else the President misuse funds on, right now? Peace.
The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (Cosase) – ‘Report of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (COSASE) on the Investigations into the Circumstances under which the reward of UGX 6 BN was given to 42 Public Officers who participated in the Heritage Oil and Gas Arbitration Case’ (May, 2017)