The continued exhausting of the Presidential handshake shows the true form of the bribe. Even as the President himself, tries to clean his hands and pin-point more people. He still did sanction it directly from the Uganda Revenue Authority and onto the vast civil servants and loyal cronies, as a bribe and brown envelope of joy. Even if the stories keep coming and more people being implicated, the reality is that this shows that the whole system is rotten.
The maladministration and clearly not caring about state reserves comes to the public court. The Public know knows that the President and his State House, are only trying to find a scapegoat and a perfect victim, to save face and look good, without taking down somebody who knows to much. They know that to many people has gotten ill-earned millions in envelopes because of this Presidential Handshake. That the probe would have questions to the President was most likely, and we could anticipate that someone else would fall on their sword. If they will do it voluntarily and might do it with force from the State House.
Oxford Dictionary states about “Fall on one’s sword”:
“Assume responsibility or blame on behalf of other people, especially by resigning from a position.
‘he heroically fell on his sword, insisting that it was his decision’ (Oxford Dictionary).
So when you read part of the piece in the Daily Monitor today, you see how the President tries to wash his hands of sin and put blame on the Ministers and others. So he will talk to the culprit and make sure that he falls on his sword for him.
Museveni pinning people down for the handshake:
“Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu,who is leading the inquiry by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises(Cosase), confirmed at a press briefing on Friday that Mr Museveni wants the Committee to ensure that the missing money is accounted for. “The President said he was not aware [that Shs5b is unaccounted for] and he was happy that we were going to follow it up. He reiterated his commitment to accountability and he said any monies spent from the public coffer should be accounted for. He encouraged us to have this money accounted for by the Justice Ministry Accounting Officer [Solicitor General],”Mr Katuntu said. Mr Katuntu revealed that the Solicitor General will be cross-examined again over the whereabouts of the Shs5b before a report is compiled mapping out his fate. During the ingoing inquiry, Mr Atoke failed to give conclusive accountability for the money. During the course of the two meetings, Mr Museveni also singled out former Energy Minister Syda Bbumba for inserting a clause in the Production Sharing Agreement that allowed Tullow a $157m tax waiver for an out of court settlement involving Tullow. The signing of a PSA to exempt Tullow from $157m was done by Ms Bbumba without the knowledge of the President, Mr Katuntu confirmed. “The President said he was not aware of that exemption. The President agreed with us that the exemption was illegal because the then Minister did not have power to exempt payment of tax. We informed the President that we are following up this matter and we will have a conversation with Syda Bbumba,”Mr Katuntu said” (Arinaitwe, 2017).
Now that Honorable Syda Bbumba is the one to blame now, not the ones applying for it or the ones who gained the ill-willed state coffer monies. Not long ago, it was revealed to come from the wrong account, directly from URA and not State House. Now it is a Minister Bbumba who acted without consistent legal procedure, nor talked with the authorities before the money went on its merry. Certainly the other part of what happen this mid-week reveals certain aspects worth noting!
Asking for favors:
“According to our sources, as soon as the president ended his testimony, some MPs took turns to speak privately with him. According to multiple sources familiar with the Entebbe meeting, Katuntu effectively contained the MPs during the committee’s official business session at State House but when that ended, MPs went on rampage. “After the meeting, the president invited us for a group photo and this is when the MPs started [whispering],” said an MP who attended the meeting. This MP singled out Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum Municipality), Hood Katuramu (PWDs Western) and Vincent Woboya (Budadiri East) as some of the MPs that approached Museveni with requests for favours. This was after they saw the committee vice chairperson Anita Among whisper to Museveni. Anywar reportedly invited the president to attend her thanksgiving next month in Kitgum. “She has not been attending the committee meetings. In fact, we didn’t go with her on [Wednesday]. I think her coming on the second day was purposely to see Museveni, not [to be part of] the probe,” one MP said” (Kaaya, 2017).
So the system is rigged and he isn’t only looking for someone to take the blame for the Presidential Handshake, he also sees who are loyal to him if they get favors. Similar to the Handshake. They wants and requests favors from the President, because he has done so in the past. And most likely do it again, that is the way he keeps the cronyism alive and the Movement booming. If he stops paying and delivering brown-envelopes to political affiliates he will lose his base and his MP’s. But because of this Presidential Handshake he has to play smart and look like he cares about fighting corruption, even though his State House is thriving on it.
That this would take such long time isn’t surprising as they are trying to find one who can take the blame, without to much cost and lose of face value to the hierarchy and the State House. Nevertheless, the bribe is still a bribe, even if they try to color it differently, there isn’t a gray-area to put it into. The reality is still the same. That certain elements now this week ask for favors from the President proves the handouts and the handshakes are a systemic and institutionalized affairs at the State House.
The issue with the Presidential Handshake is more of a gimmick as the state tries to find the one who will take the charge and eat, so that the President can say: “See there my Ugandan people, I work against corruption”. But the next day, another MP will pop by Entebbe or Nakasero and ask for favor, an envelope or even a handshake. So that they can be bought into submission, which is the given state and the system that President Museveni believes in. Peace.
Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘Museveni pins SG Atooke over oil cash’ (01.05.2017) link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-pins-SG-Atooke-over-oil-cash/688334-3909560-g9wigk/index.html
Kaaya, Sadab Kitatta – ‘Oil cash probe MPs beg from Museveni’ (01.05.2017) link:http://observer.ug/news/headlines/52653-oil-cash-probe-mps-beg-from-museveni.html
Oxford Dictionary – ‘fall on one’s sword’ link:https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fall_on_one’s_sword