OpED

OPINION: Indeed we were wrong; We looked for the living from the dead!

Muhimbise George is a member of the Alliance for National Transformation (PHOTO /Courtesy)

By Muhimbise George

Famous political analyst Tamale Mirundi once said that just like virginity, credibility is lost only once, and once lost it can never be recovered.

As Covid 19 ravages on, security operatives all over fighting with the people to enforce lockdown and Ugandans bitter with their government while others make fun of its initiatives like the famous Nabanja money, a complete mismatch between the state and the people is at display.

For the first time in history Ugandans displayed high level of not only patriotism but also trust in government when they fundraised and collected billions to support its efforts in handling Covid 19 pandemic.

A government whose trust had long gone as a result of having abused funds for CHOGM, National IDs, bicycles, global fund, GAVI and many other scandles, had now gathered some trust when the old man in the hat asked us to sit in our homes silently & hear the footsteps of the enemy.

The pandemic was sweeping nations, sparing no body both rich & poor, it was knocking at the door. This fear brought us down on our knees to the extent of trusting the highest of hypocrites of our society. It was like my earlier quoted Noah’s ark when the rat would have to trust the cat for its safety!

Ugandans religiously followed the calls by Sabalwanyi while his speeches were anxiously waited for like christmas day. Media houses offered free coverage, human rights sacrificed at the alter of Covid, corporate companies donated in millions, investors agreed that it was time for corporate social responsibility & thus time to give back to the society and finally Ugandans in large numbers sacrificed and gave in their last penny to as little as three thousand shillings!

Like the bibilical old woman who gave in a button & she was blessed by God, so did the Ugandans in anticipation of a miracle, in form of improved service delivery from the long time thieves!

Little did we know that the real enemy or enemies whose footsteps we wanted to hear was actually within and amongst us, actually seated on the highest table of the day! It was a matter of time that the truth would come to light.

Billions were collected in cash and handed over to a committee presided over by one Emmanuel Katongole and Hon Karooro Okurut. More than a year later, everybody went mute! As the contributors focused on other things that mattered or got taken up by the political drama of elections, Katongole and team knew it was time to feast on the catch from the hunt!

Unlike in the past, where money from donors is stolen with impunity or tax payers money is plundered at will, Ugandans who gave out their hard earned money in the hardest moments when they needed it most remained alert and awake, they started asking the hard questions; Where is our money?

It was not even a week that Dr Diana and her Katongole started speaking in tongues like the builders on the tower of Babel. With their uncordinated figures & statements, it was clear that they had died in their own movie. Truth had exposed them naked, shamelessly like a female goat whose privacy is ever open for the world to see!

Whereas the head of state was clear that the money would buy vehicles for the health sector, it was a mere wish that would never come true for the parasites were sorounding him determined to deep their long proboscis in this money until it is finished!

At a cost of 100 million tax free, we were capable of buying 290 ambulances from the 29 billion that was collected on which each district would have an average of two ambulances! But one year later, where are the ambulances? How many were bought? Which districts got them? The answer is a NO! Nothing was bought, the money was squandered!

I would have posed these questions to the Minister of Finance but when he was asked before a Parliamentary committee to explain the whereabouts of the eighteen billion for buying vaccines he had no answer! When they asked him the beneficiaries of 400 billion stimulus package that was put in Uganda Develoment Bank, he couldn’t provide any! So can I ask him for donations that he didn’t collect?

Can Uganda media center organise a press conference for Hon Karooro Okurut, Dr Diana Atwine and Emmanuel Katongole to explain to Ugandans where this money went? Shouldn’t Ugandans who contributed this money organise themselves and storm these people to demand accountability?
If this money was collected in public knowledge, why shouldn’t its accountability be made in public?

I would have asked Hon Acheng Ruth but she is already sleeping on the job! People who are flying in or out of the country are being charged 350,000= for a Covid test that ordinarily goes for 150,000=! They are forcing people to test twice even when they had tested in the previous 24 hours! All this impunity is being perpetrated by a company called Test & Fly laboratories that is most likely owned by the same cacoon and it has monopolized this business!

I would have asked religious leaders to join this battle of demanding accountability, but many don’t even account to their followers and congregations, their credibility is half empty half full!

I would have asked for Katikiro Peter Mayiga to speak for us and demand for accountability but he has also never accounted for Etofali collections neither has he finished the Kasubi Tombs construction that was set to be finished many years ago!

I would have run to Hon Kadaga who used to speak for us, including exposing government for supplying rotten beans but despite being kicked in the ass, am told she is battling the shadow of accountability questions that remain unasked yet still un-answered, any attempt to raise such questions would certainly land her in hot soup!

So in a nutshell the task force we trusted was a wolf in a goats skin, the leaders turned into dealers, the would be mentors turned into tormentors, instead of hope they delivered despair, by trusting this thugs we surely were expecting to get the living out of the dead!

To Ugandans, the luganda saying these days goes that “buri omu agumye mune” loosely translated to mean, ” let everyone console the other”,we should accept that indeed we are on our own and only us can save ourselves!

Muhimbise George [email protected], 0787836515

The author is a member of the Alliance for National Transformation

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