Friday January 17 2014

Bishop Niringiye: I have not met Muhakanizi over Black Monday deal

By Stephen Otage

Bishop Zac Niringiye has denied ever meeting Finance Minister Permanent secretary Keith Muhakanizi to plot a partnership between the government and Black Monday Movement – a civil society pressure group fighting corruption.

In a post on his facebook page, Bishop Niringiye said his interface with Muhakanizi was a funeral of a mutiual friend and didn’t constitute a meeting to decide a partnership with the government.

I have seen some fb comments already casting doubts on us and the Black Monday Movement basing on this report. I hope you realise that our government invested heavily last year in fighting the Movement using their usual means of fear, intimidation, smear, etc.. How I wish Mr Muhakanizi's remarks were a change of heart! I fear he is only announcing a new strategy to fight the Black Monday Movement.

How I wish this would be a genuine step towards stamping out theft in government. However, the words of Mr Keith Muhakanizi betray his intentions. I was surprised to read that he said that during Christmas season he "personally went and met Bishop Zac Niringiye and told him look, I want us to work together but do not wear your black attire. There are a few things we can do together”. It is not true that Keith came to me. We met at a burial of a mutual friend. That is where he said those words!

The Black Monday Movement has been clear and is clear. It is not us in Kampala that need convincing that Government is serious. It is teachers when they get a better pay; learners in UPE when they have lunch; mothers when they can safely deliver babies; and the youth, when they get jobs! 

Boreover, the theft problem in Government is not primarily a result of failure in tracking or monitoring public resources. It is that our political leaders steal to keep in power. The way to persuade us otherwise is by cracking the political whip. And even better still to announce that President Museveni is ready to retire peacefully by 2016, when this term expires.