The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has chosen its flag bearer for the 2016 general elections and unless you are totally new to Uganda – you will know the choice that the party made – His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. No news there.
No news too, is the fact that he said if elected President, he would fight corruption. Really?! Is he not tired of telling us the same old story about how this time, for real and for sure, I swear! – corruption is going to regret ever coming to Uganda because it will be booted from Uganda so fast, it will forget where it came from! Isn’t he tired of threatening to fight corruption? I see corruption having the laugh of it’s life because it knows the people its dealing with. It knows the President it is dealing with. It knows that for all his grand standing about fighting corruption, the President will not do much to catch the ‘big fish’ that swim deeper and deeper into the waters of our public tills, taking all they want, when they want to, well knowing that they will never get caught, or that if they do, they can worm their way out of prosecution.
Corruption knows that the current government is fed and sustained by corruption, so its not about to let go. Corruption is the oil that keeps the system in place and which keeps it going. Corruption and it’s cousin patronage, have a firm front row seat in most government dealings from access to jobs to access to contracts. Just open any Auditor General’s report or any corruption probe report over the last ten years or so. Those reports are sure proof of just how entrenched corruption is.
Corruption knows that it takes leading by example, to root out corruption, but it knows the President will not do this. Corruption has watched as the President doles out envelopes and sacks of money without any accountability. Corruption knows how the term limits were lifted from our Constitution. Corruption knows how many bills in Parliament are killed or boosted through backhand cash handouts to MPs. Corruption knows how many ‘investors’ have had to oil certain hands in order to be given lucrative deals. Corruption sees the money that is dispensed to pay the legal fees of those caught in its web. Corruption knows of the night calls made to judicial officers, so that justice can be corrupted.
Corruption sees. It knows. It hears. And it still flows.
The most recent research World International (RWI) poll showed that 41 per cent of Ugandans think corruption and embezzlement of Government funds is one of the most serious problems facing Uganda. Corruption was ranked second after poverty in the poll and this shows that citizens take it seriously enough. I wish Government would too. I wish the NRM flag bearer actually meant it when he says he will fight corruption. The seriousness will not be shown in how may times he repeats the fact that he is going to fight corruption. His seriousness will be shown in action – starting with himself. If he wants to retain a legacy of Fountain of Honor, he should stop the habit of being the Fountain of Brown Envelopes.