In my mother tongue, there is a proverb which goes; `Omumwa Nvuba’. The proverb is a caution about the mouth being a trap which can unintendedly end up revealing one’s secrets. President Yoweri Museveni, during the Monday Cabinet meeting last week shared a bit of useful info which the country had hitherto not known, but only himself. Kaguta revealed to his ministers the secret of his deep affection for the dad of his favorite girl, the national carrier CEO, Jennifer Bamuturaki.
The president stated that Bamuturaki Senior happened not only to be actually a fond friend of him during high school, but also mentored him into the astute politician he is today. Noting that Bamuturaki had cautioned him about the dangers of being a politician, Museveni regretted that his mentor ended up going into politics himself. Just as he himself had prophesized to the young man about the dangers of being a politician, alas, Mzee Bamuturaki, as the DP Parliamentarian, Museveni shares, ended up being murdered.
To cut the long story short, President Museveni many years following the death of Mzee Bamuturaki, would now handpick the daughter of his friend and mentor as the CEO of the country’s sensitive as well as strategic agency – The Uganda Airlines. It begins may be, with the leader suddenly waking up one day to remember the existence of the girl of his departed high school days friend who was, moreover, his political mentor. Having thus recalled about the girl’s existence, the President then calls the line minister Gen Edward Katumba Wamala to sign Bamuturaki Junior’s appointment letter without any further delay.
But Katumba had just paid more than ninety million shillings already and advertised the job for the suitable CEO to emerge through a professional testing process. Candidates had started lining up with each one of them hoping and praying to secure the job. How is he now supposed to reconcile Mzee Bamuturaki’s old friend and mentor in light of the ongoing process in regard to looking for the right CEO! A dazed Katumba must have been left puzzlingly wondering upon reading the contents of the boss’ order.
Being the direct supervisor of the required CEO and seeking to give a chance to the wheels of the professional testing process to go on, Katumba sits on the written order issued by the boss. On account of the boss’ busy schedule and assured that his orders can’t be rejected by a mere servant, Museveni forgets to make a follow up about the implementation of his wish. Weeks later, either by his own or may be through work of other forces, the boss learns how the servant had rejected his orders duly issued by him, to him.
Kaguta right away contacts Katumba to pointedly direct him to rapidly sign Bamuturaki’s appointment letter no matter the reservations he could be still harboring against the choice. A defiant Katumba instead of signing the appointment instrument as has been instructed by the boss, now writes to the board of the national carrier to do the needful. The boss and his favorite candidate win round one of the fracas! Yet there are more hurdles in the way of the journey, or is it wishful thinking.
A parliament committee would later on summon Bamuturaki to grill her about her suitability for the gift of the job and the grim financial picture at the airliner against her fat salary and those of a certain category of workers. During the hearing, it emerges that Museveni’s choice not only lacks the qualifications required to carry out the competencies of her gift job, but also, the experience required thereof. The committee members now turn to making fun of the boss’ choice to the extent of humiliatingly handing her to the police for questioning over shadowy academic papers.
As the grilling intensifies, we get to hear of threats as being issued out to the Chairman of the oversight committee of Parliament. His name is Joel Ssenyonyi, the legislator representing Nakawa West constituency. Ssenyonyi duly writes a police statement. He brags how he won’t be fettered by the ongoing death threats to stop him from ‘crucifying’ the President’s girl. The Deputy Parliament Speaker, a high ranking ruling NRM party official, Thomas Tayebwa quickly steps out to reaffirm the sanctity of Ssenyonyi’s committee. He tells off whoever is trying to derail Ssenyonyi committee to stop it.
Bamuturaki Junior, perhaps drawing from her closeness with the big man, now openly denounces the committee’s method of work. The woman revealingly tells Ssenyonyi not to bother her with questions of qualifications or experience since even if she holds a diploma, it doesn’t matter as far as her CEO job is concerned. The daughter of the big man’s bosom friend and political mentor even issues out orders to Ssenyonyi, to keep out of the committee his journalists or forget about her stepping there anymore.
As we are still at it, the big man’s blue-eyed CEO writes to Ssenyonyi to tell him she will henceforth be too busy to find time to go to his committee. Then using the Monday Cabinet meeting, Museveni disparages Ssenyonyi and his people as blackmailers. The now combative big man says Ssenyonyi and his gang aren’t up to anything good at all. But are just hiding under the cover of fighting corruption looking to extort money from the daughter of his departed bosom friend and mentor. The big man even incites his ministers to join him and fight back at the corrupt Parliament other than letting them to blackmail everyone. See, Ssenyonyi and his gang are joking. The daughter of the big man’s friend and political mentor is going to have the last laugh. Take my open cheque if Museveni’s favorite doesn’t prevail at the end of the day.
- 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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