Shs10bn MPs’ windfall: Only those with more eyes will understand the game

Ugandan MPs have in recent years been chaotic and 'money-minded'. A courtesy photo.

By Odaka Asuman

For over a week now, social and print media have been awash with serious attacks on MPs over the shs.10bn cash bonanza with nobody smartly explaining where the money is coming from and the exact purpose for which it’s being given to Legislators now.

Apart from cursing and wishing them to enter the hottest part of hell, I must admit, I have been looking out for a more critical analysis as to why such “reasonable men” of their calibre would knowingly take such a suicidal political venture at this perilous point of our country’s history.

To be honest, I am hurt and disappointed with this act, just like any other well-meaning Ugandan, on why an arm of a government which is appealing to the already economically weather-beaten citizens to donate whatever little they have to help redistribute to the most vulnerable of our society, would turn around in the most ugly show of pig-headedness and insensitivity to such a deplorable level of moral and ethical degeneration.  

Despite the pain in me, I still think there is more to the conversation in the public domain, opinionated as I am about the actions of this government. Reading and learning experiences from its previous records, at least two scenarios can help dig deeper into the ongoing unpalatable and annoying conversations on this grand looting.

Scenario One: 

The Members of Parliament are innocent but are convenient, susceptible, defenceless and are the most available sacrificial lamb (unknown to themselves) in this complicated mind games and program of national looting.

Scenario two:

The second possible scenario which is also related to the above is the power struggle between the Kadaga led legislature and the Museveni led executive, but more mindful of the post COVID-19 reconfigured political environment which only the sophisticated and power-oriented minds must be already engaged in.

Back to scenario one. Parliament recently passed a supplementary budget whose exact figures the public has not clearly known. Other sources say it was shs938bn yet others say it was shs304bn. 

The breakdown was so embarrassing and all attempts to its justification was flatly rejected by even the most gullible members of our Republic and the reason is simple. “Everything born of a snake must and will always have a long tail.”

And worth noting is that some of the people who rubbished the breakdown were the MPs and, knowing mafias, there would always be payback time.

Nonetheless, the supplementary was passed to the surprise of some who thought these ladies and gentlemen still had sense of shame.

Certainly, all the under hand dealing, promises, bribery and machinations of all kinds that took place to make our MPs easily pass the supplementary may never be known to the rest of us, thanks to our new breed of news reporters (since Wafula Ogutu, Charles Onyango Obbo, Andrew Mwenda etc, are long gone)

Whereas all indications are that only certain people must get medals at the end of COVID-19 war as heroes and heroines, in addition, the COVID-19 project seems to be for good money making and only Parliament seems to be the stumbling block especially since the “big headed” Kadaga has rejected closing the House. 

And the supportive evidence to this is glaring; for example, why isn’t anyone talking about the true amount of money passed as supplementary budget? Why isn’t anyone talking about how much each department of government got? Why isn’t anyone mentioning the fact that MPs only got shs10bn out of close to a Trillion that was passed?

Why isn’t anyone mentioning the minority report sponsored by Gerald Karuhanga and its contents? Why did the names of the known anti-corruption MPs like Muwanga Kivumbi, etc make first appearance even when we all know he is not part of the Parliamentary Commission? Lastly, the interest with which Kadaga stopped MPs from talking about it is revealing.

All these said, the problem with our MPs is that they have many times compromised their integrity so low that even merely placing them near a scene of crime would earn them conviction in the Courts of public opinion. 

They have previously exhibited the highest levels of greed, dishonesty, impropriety and moral deficiencies even in times when the country is in dire need of patriotism. They have allowed themselves to be used even in grand schemes that threaten to sink the country as long as their bank accounts are credited. 

Since they have voluntarily accepted to be the “Robbers’ Stamp” and evil bridge for the despotic anti-people ambitions, it’s very difficult to even defend them because they long ago won themselves the biggest space on the national notice board of public embarrassment.

I don’t want to think that the speaker is part of a scheme to sacrifice the members she is duty bound to protect as already stated by my brother, colleague and comrade Andrew Karimagi.

The Museveni strategy in the fight against COVID-19 excluded elected leadership of our country, be it national or local levels. Of course, the object of this, is for him alone to claim all the credit and proceeds of this war after all what those technocrats will deserve will be medals.

At the beginning of all this, everyone thought the President would go to Parliament to seek approval for this state of emergency-like conditions we find ourselves in. 

This would certainly give Parliament a central role and a big say in many things that are taking place today. And President Museveni would have to seek permission of Parliament on nearly everything before communicating it to the public.

In practical terms, this would mean that Mr. Museveni and Ms Kadaga would be sharing the exercise of power and almost be “Co-Presidents”. For your information Mr. Museveni would rather die or kill than share power.

Having elbowed Parliament from the matrix, Mr. Museveni was told of the opportunity through the Public Health Emergency Act to render all the other institutions near-useless so he alone prevails.

The activist Rebecca Kadaga, who never wants to surrender her power without a fight, tried her luck to claim some portion of the credit in case victory is secured. 

Having cleverly dodged the announcement of the state of emergency, Kadaga knew she would use Parliament to have a say in the food distribution. But when Parliament tried to assert its power, it was loudly ignored. 

Mr. Museveni, having closed all institutions and departments of government, including the judiciary, expected Kadaga to also close Parliament. The closure of Parliament would make governance a one-man-show, only similar to the 1971-79 situation and the end would be the glorification of only one man.

The incumbent MPs also thought this would be an opportune moment to outshine their potential competitors in the eye of the electorates. 

When these hopes faded, Kadaga embarked on building her own power center upon which to claim part of the victory when the war is over. 

Therefore, weather the shs10bn was got with or without the help of Mr. Museveni, it’s a point the anti-Kadaga force had to capitalise on to discredit Kadaga and the members of her institution as people insensitive to the plight of the ordinary citizens, so much so that even after this war, everybody should remember how much the MPs betrayed the people leaving only Museveni as a lone fighter.

It’s either a trap our MPs unknowingly laid for themselves or a trap they are entirely to blame for falling in, not being mindful while hunting with Mr. Hare, the political tactician.

For now, I dedicate to you “…. Parliament Yaffe…” By Mathias Walukaga.

The writer is an aspiring MP, Tororo Municipality (next election)

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