As kisanja hakuna mchezo (the serious presidential term) raves on, more and more developments continue to emerge from the corridors of power. In one moment, Ugandans are being hounded, albeit politely, to jump into a cue and re-register or verify their sim-cards and in another, a state minister is being whisked away by state operatives from a luncheon meeting at a five-star hotel where he had allegedly gone to solicit and collect a bribe.
The rate at which newsworthy events are unfolding is only a few inches off the kasana in Uganda. It is becoming unbearable. One cannot keep up, especially one stays away from keeping abreast with news for even a day.
Off the raving conveyor belt of newsworthy developments, in the corridors of power, is an anti-corruption hotline at the Uganda Investment Authority head office that was launched on the 9th May, 2017. Who better to run it than the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (apparently, they have an unblemished track record).
At the launch of the new task force to launched fight a scourge –corruption, which seems to have taken a permanent seat in many a Ugandan public office, the State Minister for Investment and Privatization Hon. Evelyn Anite averred that the launch of the anti-corruption hotline was an immediate directive from the President. I repeat, IMMEDIATE! That there is an indication this Presidential term is not one for gallivanting around until the next ballot casting season.
“The hotline will serve for investors to report any frustration, harassment, corruption because we believe that services given to them are supposed to be free,” stated the youthful minister.
On the back of a state minister for Labour Hon. Kabafunzaki being charged of soliciting (and collecting a bribe) comes the launch of a whole department at the investment authority to fight corruption. The immediacy of the presidential directive is literally clear for all to see.
It is in that vein that I ask; is it not right for the President to take on a new title? Is he not deserving of the title, Director of Directives? Directives have come from State House over and over again, some averse others good, but nonetheless all newsworthy. The latest directive has, like most that came before it, been effected immediately. A sign these directives smirk of respected authority.
His Excellency Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has taken on so many monikers over three decades of stay in office. Some have been worthy, others not so. Some have honoured him whilst others threw a mountain of mud at his face. He has been referred to as a Ssabalwanyi (freedom fighter), revolutionary, of course Guest of Honour at innumerable state and partisan functions, Chief Seer at the seeing of the eclipse in 2015, a pair of unmentionables in 2017, Tata Natasha and then some. And oh! A leopard whose something something mustn’t be touched.
Someone who’s been a Head of State for thirty years is surely deserving of all tribes of monikers, at the very least. One that I think he should have worn years ago is the Director of Directives.
In recent years, as officials in charge of different government dockets have been grilled by parliamentary committees about the works of their hands that are rather questionable, they have rushed to their own defence and made it clear, they only acted that way under directives from powers above. Whether the controversial decision has been signing off tax waivers or public properties to investors, or paying themselves a dubious bonus from public coffers, public officials have mentioned the President “Okayed” such a move in writing.
Those who have sited the President’s influence as the source of their unconventional conduct have often walked away scot free. When the dust has settled on all controversy, we have gone back to business as usual. And more directives have gone on to be made.
With the endless stream of directives being another tell-tale sign that it is President Museveni’s style of rule, what is left of us the citizens of this country to do but confer upon him a new title in honour of his style of rule? His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Director of Directives.