In some Ugandan bufundas where many Kampalans go either to run down the evening or wash a car, there is usually a wild cat that appears once some roast pork is served. The Baganda call it a Muyaayu. It sits a distance from the person who has just be served directly looking at the person’s eye waiting for some crumbs. If no crumbs are shared, it cries out to attract the attention.
The Muyaayu can sometimes be irritating to the eater but the Kafunda owner usually never chases it away because its presence chases away some rats even though it is too weak to hunt hence the need for crumbs.
The Muyaayu manifested itself in human life over the weekend in the name of panty thief Ofwono Opondo. To amuse his boss Yoseri Tibuhaburwa Museveni, the restaurant owner, it attacked the revered institution of the Kabaka in exchange for crumbs.
Opondo is famous for stealing underwears from Uchumi supermarket which has further endeared him to Yoseri as there is no other work to do beyond writing diatribes in the Sunday Vision whose sells are dwindling and on the road to extinction in a few years ahead. Which other organization apart from NRM cam employ an underwear thief?
The Muyaayu also appears on a few radio stations every week manifesting itself as the dictator’s lapdog. Again the Baganda call it Embwa Yokukyalo!
In its earlier days, the Muyaayu had a desk at New Vision but William Pike let it go given that many people were complaining about its behavior. Once Ofwono Opondo left the New Vision newsroom, all of sudden, other reporters’ mobile phones stopped disappearing mysteriously. Those who know him, know that he was responsible for disappearing the phones. Those who were with him at Makerere know him as a thief who sold other students’ clothing in Wandegeya and Katanga to buy cheap waragi and sleep with Katanga and Kivvulu women, one of whom he officially married.
Ofwono Opondo once stole a Fresian cow meant for villagers in Mukono where he lives on Kabaka’s land. Due to pressure, and without shame, he returned the cow to its rightful owners. Ofwono once shot a mobile phone thief dead with his children in the car around Kampala Parents. The crime of the mobile phone thief was to try to enter Ofwono’s territory. Ofwono controls the mobile phone and laptop theft in many parts of Kampala.
People in Tororo where he hails from say that the scars that form 90% of his face are results of beatings he used to receive for stealing cows. He is a thief who always gets caught.
Yoseri Museveni Kaguta knows Ofwono’s capabilities that is why he has left him with simply a responsibility of writing one clumsy article a week. Young people have joined Museveni and left Ofwono stuck like the Muyaayu on the floor of the restaurant. As the likes of Don Wanyama, Frank Tumwebaze, Maurice Mugisha, all babies when Ofwono was milling around the NRM Secretariat, are now CEOs and ministers, Ofwono the underwear thief remains Embwa ya Kukyalo for the dictator waiting to be thrown crumbs.
Even NRM thieves fear to associate with him hence his failure to land a ministry though he has tried all the time. But Ofwono knows that like the Muyaayu he is, nobody can fully embrace him. A man who steals an underwear will not bring any honour even among thieves.
His weekend misinformed diatribe is an attempt to get some crumbs to enable him get medical access for a long illness that eats him up. Without Museveni’s crumbs, he fears he would not be able to survive on his own.