By Augustine Otuko
Dear Mr. President;
Re: Wealth Creation Is Good But Corruption Is Crumbling NRM
Your Excellency, allow me salute you for the wealth creation country tours that you have successfully ended in Kasese District, Rwezonri Sub-region. I am confident that considering my participation in your tour in Teso as a delegate, the meetings were important but not exhaustive enough to deal with a variance of issues that local people are grappling with. If time and resources allow, you may need to organize segmented meetings with elders, youths, women, technocrats, farmers and professional bodies to understand issues specific to certain social clusters.
Mr President, in my observation, apart from your message and passion to transform the 68% of the population from peasantry to money economy; Farming with Calculation (Akor kede Aimar) as you stated during your address, the rest of the leaders spent their time singling, clapping and posturing for everyone including yourself to see and notice their presence. Many key leaders seem to have not even understood your unique message of transformation as their survival is largely vested on politicking. This may explain why the recent UBOS Report indicates that 41% of Teso population is below poverty line. Never the less the selection of categories of leaders to attend these meetings was well thought.
Your Excellency far from your wealth creation tours, is a giant sprawling and silently crumbling the public institutions, shrinking our Pan African struggle, denting our relations with international bodies and or countries but above all threatening NRM survival in power. The level of greed and impunity exhibited by public office holders can bring us a world cup trophy. Public officials no longer have shame and that they no do not care about the ordinary person the reason for which you staged a liberation struggle in the 1980s. Technical know who and bribery for government services is no longer an option.
Your Excellency, how can politicians or public servants in positions of authority obtain obscene wealth that is not business related or hereditary within five years of leadership if not through greed or impunity? How can a person at a level of a commissioner of a ministry with a salary that is approximately 3 Million shillings own estates worth billions if it is not through corruption? How can a CAO who has worked for less than ten years in Public service be filthy rich if not through greed? An RDC having a salary less than shs. 3 Million and has worked may be for three years own miles of land if not through fraud? How can a police officer at a rank of Superintendent of Police having served for only three years in Uganda Police be owning numerous properties?
Mr. President, aware of your efforts to create institutions like the Anti-Corruption Court, Inspectorate of Government, Auditor General, Finance Intelligence Authority, State House Anti-Corruption Unit to mention but a few, corruption has persistently become deep rooted and endemic. This calls for a reflection and application of new strategic but radical interventions to save the engine, wheels and tyres of NRM bus from the state of malfunctioning.
Your Excellency, we further need new radical energy to carry out Radical Property Audit across the country to establish who owns what and match with the income sources of respective property owners. The state MUST understand the source of wealth for all its citizens.
Secondly borrowing from our neighbors in Kenya, the citizens are waiting for the days when more of those accused like CAOS, LCVs, RDCs, Ministers, Heads of Agencies, Accounting Officers, MPs, Detectors etc are paraded in court and are convicted or burred from continuing to hold public office. In the worst case scenario you should temporarily bring back firing squad to deal with the new corruption terrorists. If these corruption warlords and wardresses are not dealt with, they will eventually become a threat to the establishment if they have not yet anyway.
I conclude by imploring you to invite our good friend and neighbor HE Uhuru Kenyatta for a cup of tea in statehouse because there is something that is going on at his backyard that would be relevant to our situation. As you have always stated, the far you we have come is out of making sacrifices and I believe going forward we need to make more sacrifices to make sure your transformation message becomes a reality.
The Writer Is An NRM Youth Chairman, Katakwi District