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2 Women in NRM corridor of power

Ikebesi Omoding

2 Women in NRM corridor of power

Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga

Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga

Two relatively powerful women within the NRM corridors of power, recently came against their regime that can be said to be extremely uncharacteristic of them.

The Speaker of the House, Rebecca Kadaga, started off the salvo when she accused the Government of being in the throes of the Mafia. Then, the Minister of State for ICT and Woman MP for Kayunga, Idah Nantaba, accused it of having “killers within the security and government”.

“Relatively powerful”? Yes! One is in the Executive, the other in the Legislature.

Perhaps as an indicator of the sense of relative powerlessness, they are unable to take action against the Mafia as per their mandates.

Kadaga was addressing the Commonwealth anti-graft agencies when she made the damning statements; and this could not have been in a worse (or, should we say, better) forum. But this was not new.

The first NRM cadre to make the Mafia accusation was, Gen. (Rtd.) Mugisha Muntu, 14 years ago. And no other than the-then vice president, disgraced, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, repeated that accusation about seven years ago. From then on, it has been a common talk that has become banal. Nobody in the higher echelons of Government even bothers to react to these statements, far less check on their veracity.

Kadaga said that impunity is being left unpunished and the “government service has become a ground for personal enrichment”. One Government agency, among the many, that is supposed to be at the top of fighting corruption, is the Inspectorate of Government. The officer in charge, Justice Irene Mulyagonja, is obviously frustrated, often baying for money, which is not being given for her to carry out her duties.

Even when she has reported the cases of theft, it appears that it has touched the “untouchables” and nothing has come of it. There are many “too sensitive” reports of the nature that have bounced from the authorities supposed to act on them. The issues end up in double-talk and deliberate cover-up lies.

In March, Ronald Sebulime, was shot dead by Police, ostensibly trailing to kill Nantaba. In what is turning to be a comedy of mirrors, Nantaba is now accusing some “untouchable” of persistently organizing to kill her.

Her point is understandable. In the last so many years there have been high-profile murders, some of which Nantaba has mentioned, that have so far been “investigated”, without anybody being actually cornered and convicted for the murder. The litany is impressive: Policemen; Andrew Kaweesi and Muhammad Kirumira. Like Nantaba, before he was murdered, Kirumira reported that his life was in danger. It did not avert the killing!

Minister Aidah Nantaba

Minister Aidah Nantaba

Politician, Ibrahim Abiriga and Prosecutor, Joan Kagezi, among the many, have gone a similar route.  And the Police have been at the center of this; and that is why Nantaba is saying she cannot accept these infidels to search her house.

Where there has been any movement at all is when President Yoweri Museveni, has come clearly to note the “Bean Weavils” who were drilling into the wood of the security apparatus. Their kingpin, former Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, was eventually sacked but without any conviction. This may have been for other reasons other than being a bean weevil.

Where there has been a conviction from the bean weevils, it is not because of the killings, but illegal possession of arms. Such is the case of the Kayihura surrogate, Abdallah Kittatta, now facing an eight years’ jail term. And it is symptomatic that his father says he has been betrayed by the NRM.  It is interesting that an illiterate like Kittatta, ascended the top echelons and wielded such power and force in his Bodaboda 2010, that at one point he was one of the untouchables.

So, where he faltered, such that he has become a sacrificial lamb is probably by overstepping his limitations; and became too ambitious for his own good. Ditto, his boss, Kayihura.

In all these revelations, perhaps there is a ray of hope for the country in that Kadaga was addressing the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland. If Scotland is not compromised by the Ugandan Mafia, she would immediately put into process an investigative machinery to trace the hidden loot of the Mafia in those countries.

The first place for her to start would be the off-shore banks in the Isle of Man, just to the south of England. It is believed that the Ugandan Mafiaso have their accounts there. She would then continue her search to other off-shore banks in the Caribbean, Panama and such other places, such as East Asia and Australia. The best thing Scotland can do for Uganda in this area, is to name and shame the perpetrators’ of the heinous acts against the people of Uganda.

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Ikebesi Omoding

Ikebesi Omoding is the acclaimed author of a weekly column titled: From the Outside Looking In

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