Dear Hon. Tumwebaze, thank you for showing us how “things” can be done

“It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin-doors crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, ad importuning every passenger for an alms,” Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal

Dear Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, 

I would first of all like to thank you for keeping time, at least for once. Last month, we had to wait for an event to kick-off because the minister had delayed by over an hour. He offered no apologies. Instead the emcee would go on to say that they thank the minister for sparing sometime in his busy schedule to come and grace the event. Guess what Hon Tumwebaze, we also had a busy schedule but made it on time to the event. And that minister is not you, it someone else I do not want to mention. So now you understand why I appreciate that you kept time. I just hope we keep up the spirit, maybe that way, this country can move forward.

There is this councillor who was bungled out of City Hall. Did you see that? I mean, there are video clips of “Omussajja wa Bwino” being lifted out of City Hall. Meanwhile while you were busy conducting your role as minister, the police also treated a lawyer like a rag-tag, a nobody, a thug and a goon. The video clips make for some absurd viewing from my point of view. Of course as always, your defense on such matters is always rather interesting to read. It is from this point that I request that since you rub shoulders with the President, maybe we should treat people who steal public funds the same way. Remember the billions that went missing from our coffers and donors decided to pull the plugs? I wonder why we don’t adopt such an approach for them.

I understand that currently most of the culprits including Mr Kazinda himself are “facing the full force of the law,” a phrase that you really like to use most of the time. Our very own courts are doing their jobs, despite the sluggish progress. These courts are constitutional, aren’t they?  You know what though? the KCCA Act that you quote supersedes the constitution. Not so? Please help me understand your emphasis on two-thirds majority in the act yet we’ve a constitution? So I also think considering that a small matter of a court order or even lack of presence of the defense team in City Hall, the best way to deliver a sucker-punch to people in-the-wrong should be so blanket. Let’s crucify them. Not so? 

I know you have a rather assertive way of speaking and sometimes heckling tendencies [refer to The Fourth Estate on NTV] and of course you can always plead plausible deniability; that you had no idea there was a court order. Indeed, how could you have known? In fact I think whoever steals public resources should not be allowed a defense at all. We should lock their lawyers out of the courtroom and use our starved police officers to keep them out. I also want a ministry of rape and defilement to be formed so we can have cases expedited since our courts are wasting their time. Don’t you agree with that?

In 1701, Jonathan Swift in A Mediation Upon a Broomstick wrote, “But a broomstick, perhaps you will say, is an emblem of a tree standing on its head; and pray what is man, but a topsy-turvy creature, his animal faculties perpetually mounted on his rational, his head where his heels should be, grovelling on the earth! and yet, with all his faults, he sets up to be a universal reformer and corrector of abuses, a remover of grievances, rakes into every slut’s corner of nature, bringing hidden corruption to the light, and raises a mighty dust where there was none before, sharing deeply all the while in the very same pollutions he pretends to sweep away.”

Before you interrupt me on this point, please note that the short story is a satirical piece, so in case you haven’t read it, please do read between the lines.

I hope you understand my point Hon. Minister. Meanwhile we all understand Kampala can be a filthy city and well, Jenifer has done a fine job. You know I’m business reporter, right? Even when a CEO is doing a fine job, she/he is answerable to a board. That board must consist of non-executive members to play that oversight role to keep the CEO in check. Oh, well, there is parliament and councillors, they can always keep her in check. What is interesting though, is the Lord Mayor and the Executive Director never appeared to agree on anything but we still got things done. Didn’t we? Maybe, whoever we disagree with in our places of work, we should push them out. Kick them out in fact. Blackmail them into making a mistake, and then let them fall “into the cups” – like we say.  Do you know those wonderful “middle sectors” we have on Jinja Road? We beautified them but now they have partly been destroyed due to reconstruction of a 6lane road. Was this part of the broader plan for KCCA? I do not know. 

You know Hon Minister, when a company has built a good brand, is making money and shareholders are happy, rarely does the head of the board chairman be offered for chopping. If he is incompetent, then he’ll be kicked out. Like many of us will be if we under perform at work.  Well, Hon Minister, KCCA is a better organization than ever and what I’ve been wondering is that for all those under performing ministries, why don’t have the PS’s moved or sacked the same way. I mean why not? Did you read the latest Auditor Generals report? Oh dear, oh dear, Statutory bodies are losing tax payers money, but surprise, surprise, we still have the bosses seated at the top comfortably. Why not adopt the same moves you used to remove these people?

Let me conclude my letter by saying, I appreciate the work you are doing; I mean who knew an elected leader would be impeached? Maybe it is about time we also impeach under performing public officials. You have orchestrated a political and legal masterstroke and now, Lukwago & co will spend hours, days and months on a legal wild goose chase as you make amendments to the KCCA Act. In the meantime, “they” could gain political capital and sympathy.

Thank you for your time Hon. Minister.

Yours Sincerely,

NB: Some say they are tired of sausages. I think they should be specific and tell us whether they don’t like the Fresh Cut ones – because of the advert – or Sausage King. 

8 thoughts on “Dear Hon. Tumwebaze, thank you for showing us how “things” can be done

  1. Wow impressed that at least someone can fully analyse the ridicule we are subjected to by The men of the people; in respect of ‘A man of the people’ by Chinua Achebe…

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