By Isaac Mutema
If Ugandans, particularly the leaders, were innovative people, Uganda would be earning a fortune from comedy. But because we aren’t creative and cursed, we have only one serious comedian prying his trade in the United States.
Joseph Okello, a former New Vision sports analyst and law scholar as well as comedian, rakes in from just one round of comedy, what people of many villages combined in Uganda can only afford to earn in wishful dreams.
The Inspector General of Government (IGG) Betty Namisango Kamya Turomwe caused a stir just recently when she purported to invoke prayers in the fight against Uganda’s stinking corruption.
Joining her in such low caliber comedy were the supposed religious leaders under their umbrella association referred to as the Interreligious Council of Uganda.
Before that, Kamya had launched what she refers to as lifestyle auditing purportedly to audit what government officials and leaders own in relation to their income. The IGG invited President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to officiate at the launch of the program.
But Museveni slapped Kamya squarely in the face. He told Kamya to go slow on the corrupt since they use the proceeds from graft to build skyscrapers in the country and not outside it! To beautify the country, my feet! But so what? Even, robbers use proceeds of robbery for development purposes.
Before that campaign, the president had responded to frantic calls to fight graft embedded in his government by walking through the city up to Kololo airstrip. At the end of the walk, Museveni said he knew the people in government who are corrupt, but again called for evidence before he could deal with them!
But so what? Even after that presidential walk against graft which was, incidentally, cynically joined into by the corrupt gurus themselves, corruption continues to grow by leaps and bounds by each passing minute and counting.
Kamya herself is currently on the spot for falsely obtaining a cool UGX10.6Bn from the national assembly. This is what she did. The supposed chief anti-graft commander started off the heist by raising a supplementary budget in the stated amounts.
She dressed up the foolery under the excuse of sorting out people in Bunyoro whose land government was going to use to build oil roads. Having concluded that, the former opposition FDC iron lady, trotted to parliament to seek for appropriation of the stated false budget.
The same was cleared by our gullible as well as clueless national assembly hence handing Kamya the license to go and pick the money from the national Treasury.
The supposed graft fighter finally got the money matter of fact. What we now know is that the stated money never reached some of the people Kamya fronted as the beneficiaries.
An old woman, Natalie Namuli, for the record, who Kamya presented to the national assembly as one of the beneficiaries of the compensation, has since turned up before the same national assembly and denied having ever received UGX2bn out of the money the IGG picked from the national assembly!
Yet, Kamya wrote to finance Minister Matia Kasaija on November 30, 2020, listing Namuli as one of the beneficiaries who purportedly urgently needed money for treatment!
The money was actually stated as paid out to Namuli until she appeared before COSASE led by Nakawa East MP Joel Ssennyonnyi in May this year to wash her hands clean of the heist.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija has since told COSASE that he was conned into releasing the public funds! He, accordingly, asked to be pardoned.
The former Uganda Lands Commission’s Secretary (ULC), Beatrice Nyakaisiki Byenkya, vested with the powers to raise that kind of budget, told COSASE that they never requisitioned for the dubious supplementary budget.
Nyakaisiki was later fired on the orders of Betty Kamya who has since changed address from the Lands minister to the IGG.
Many of the Ugandan religious leaders under the Interreligious Association of Uganda are reputed thieves. They use the name of God to extort money from their followers disguised as Tithe and alms for the poor.
One has been in and out of courts for fraud involving sell of land belonging to the brethren. Some are changing constitutions to rule beyond what is legally supposed to be their expiry dates.
Since they receive gifts of powerful cars and hefty cash from the earthly leaders, the gifts twist their tongues and conscience, eyes and ears and, so, they are graft-blind.
Finally, to expect people who are graft-ridden themselves and religious leaders who are partakers of the graft to lead prayers against graft is but to mock God certainly.