Opinion: In my mother tongue, Luganda, there’s an adage which goes, “Weeyogeza Ng’atwala Erimbejja Ebbi“. Kindly bear with your writer. For, I can’t quickly think of an adage related to the one above, from the Queen’s lingua. Suffice to say, that the adage demonstrates the dilemma one goes through, trying to explain the beauty of an otherwise ugly princess. Princesses are naturally beautiful, generally speaking. One doesn’t have to lament as a fast-talking conman in order to confirm the beauty of a princess. The same is a given. Generally speaking, one doesn’t need to spend a lot of breadth and ounces of energy whilst speaking about the quality of a Germany limo. It’s also a given.
Yet if one were to speak highly of the quality of the Chinese Limo, people who know better, would smell mischief. Ok, let’s simplify it this way. Articles made in China are usually traded on the streets by fast talking vendors. Now, tell me, have you seen articles made in UK being marketed by our MUBS finalists and graduates roaming the villages and city surbubs? Now accept me you, quality products aren’t usually thrown into the faces of customers. It’s cheap products from Taiwan… sijuyi… China… which are vended even up to the doors of toilets. Forgive the comparison, but this one is also an important comparison, for yours truly, to hammer home the point. Who, between Maddox and Ragga Dee, for example, would prove a tricky dilemma to market as a singer?
By the way, even Ragga Dee, being a fairer gentleman, I know he is, would concede the point that the dreadlocked fella referred to as Maddox, is a much better composer, guitarist and crooner than him. No offence meant, folks. What yours respectfully has stated above is but, the gospel truth. I will lose the big discourse discussing the Chinese limos and Ragga Dees of this fairer world.
So, let’s move on and discuss Enrica Pinetti and her charitable promoter, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa. Pinetti doesn’t need introduction. She is the amazingly monied investor. This one who picked UGX400Bn from the poverty-stricken motherland. And burned all the cash on constructing an excuse of foundation for a specialized hospital-turned pipe dream. After delivering that wonderful mirage, Tibuhaburwa is now violently marketing the woman as the silver bullet which is going to turn Uganda’s coffee into gold! Talk of another Kananathan posing as a monied coffee investor. President Museveni told us during the State of the Nation Address, how he didn’t have any idea about Pinetti until the woman happened on him and informed him how she has monied partners ready and willing to refine our coffee.
This would presuppose that Tibuhaburwa believed her at face value. He didn’t bother to do a back ground check on her. This is why perhaps; he went ahead and handed her money to erect a specialized hospital which is as dead as door post. Neither did Tibuhaburwa turn up at Kololo airstrip with Pinetti`s so-called partners, nor did he come along with the woman herself to show us her partners. It would seem as if the partners she is talking about are merely an imagination of her own fertile humor. For, why has she never gone ahead and paraded them, for all and sundry to see them! But, oh dear, when are we supposed to learn from our follies, frankly speaking! Are we so cursed and dumb as well as blind, as not to see world class fraudsters? Yet, those fraudsters are obvious to those who can hardly see or even hear them talk!
Where else in the world, would a whole president be seen and heard promoting fraudsters? Tell me, how can a whole leader stoop as lowest as throwing fraudsters in the faces of the led? Yet fraudsters would remain fraudsters. Even when clothed up in ornamental garbs. Good people get embarrassed when they spot and witness leaders speaking highly of fraudsters. It’s a soar sight. It’s revolting. It’s a scandal of gigantic proportions. What example are we teaching to the future generations? That fraudsters can as well be exalted. That fraud is a virtue? But since when? What sort of financial damage and embarrassment, does Pinetti have to wrought upon us, for us to quickly drag her to the coolers and rot off? It amuses and amazes at the same time to see our leaders skirting offering solutions to really pressing challenges!
Just like the one of cost of living amid biting poverty. And yet dedicate much of precious time to show case fraudsters! What regard do we have for august institutions? If what they reject as fraudulent, is what we proudly hold in high esteem? Isn’t that a clear manifestation of the untold contempt with which we hold those otherwise august institutions? How can there be independence of institutions? If one arm of government keeps acting in contempt of other arms of government. For how long are we going to continue acting as if we are operating government in the jungles? For, out there in the jungles, there are no standard procedure of running a government. There, in the jungle, one man’s decision and rule, overrides that of other leaders and everyone else, no matter what.
But let us reflect for a few seconds, on this burning issue of investors. Now, can we proclaim with absolute certainty that we have earned good value from the investors we have been attracting to work from our motherland? We have doled out land, free tax holidays, billions of cash and such things. Right. Now, have we gained equitably, or even more, from such incentives? Take the example of Pinetti. She was given free land at Lubowa, tax holidays, more than UGX400Bn and counting. And so on. She didn’t deliver what we doled out the incentives for. In fact, her failure to deliver the purpose for which she was given the incentives for, has seen us facing the embarrassment of sending our leaders to very expensive hospitals abroad. The most memorable ones include the Central Bank Governor, Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile. The other one is Parliament Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah. Those ones went on and scandalously passed on there in those expensive foreign hospitals.
Minister Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwaawo is currently bedridden in a foreign hospital in the Middle East. On her, the poor government continues to spend the much-needed foreign currency. Mukono municipality lawmaker, Betty Nambooze Mukisa Bakireke is lying somewhere on bed. Betty was hospitalized having dislocated her bones after skipping the staircases and hence somersaulted. Her fall followed that of deputy prime minister, Gen Moses Ali. Ali collapsed inside parliament and fell down recently. The bulky elder has fallen three times in public. The last time he fell, he had just returned from months of hospitalization in Germany. Many other government officials and staff, are moving with diseases…some terrible ones. So, the government is spending loads of foreign currency to offer them treatment abroad.
Yet, there is no end in sight regarding such spending. Look, Pinetti ate the cash she was given to erect the specialized hospital! To rub salt into the septic injury, our leaders are now promoting her to take over our coffee in the name of refining it, even on the heels of her confession before them, that she had not a tweak of knowledge of it, but rather her prospecting contacts! When are we going to finally decolonize our brains, folks? Can’t we as Africans, given the wonderful incentives being doled out to people of white or pink skins, fail to refine our coffee! Hon. Nathan Nandala Mafabi was already doing it in the land of Bamasaba, till after the government interfered. Were Nandala to be available here now, he would have a first-hand testimony of how the wonderful government managers mismanaged his coffee business, leaving it almost limbless.
After delivering such a ruin, the government returned the mess to Nandala. But as he is now struggling to clean the mess, alas, the same government is returning with Pinetti to ruin his business yet again! What on Earth did the indigenous Nandala do to Tibuhaburwa to deserve such a shabby treatment! Is it because Mukwasi is of black complexion or what? Is it that facial color which leads Tibuhaburwa to think that Nandala cannot handle the processing of coffee as better as his ignorant, Italian favorite girl! Frankly speaking, before Tibuhaburwa interfered, Nandala was juggling his coffee ball perfectly. Such juggling skills were making amazing returns. He was using the returns to educate the future Mukwasis. He had even bought better machines on the way to modernize his business. Needless to state, our Cooperative unions were doing the same, till after Tibuhaburwa messed them up! In a word, Museveni can keep his love for Pinetti to themselves. They shouldn’t make it right there in our coffee gardens.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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