Mukula can buy back his freedom by selling his soul
Posted Tuesday, January 22 2013 at 02:00
In my opinion if Mukula stole the money he should carry his cross irrespective of who goes off scot free. My major interest in this matter is how like Mukula, people who claim to be so close to Museveni do not seem to know him very well.
Last week’s conviction and four year sentence of Soroti Municipalty MP George Michael Mukula for theft of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) funds makes him the second former Cabinet Minister and NRM MP from Teso sub region to be jailed for stealing.
Joseph Ekemu, the former MP for Kaberamaido and Minister of Justice and Attorney General, was convicted of stealing money meant for restocking cattle in the aftermath of the war in Teso.
For this, columnist Charles Onyango Obbo famously dismissed Ekemu as being no better than the legendary bitch that feeds on its puppies. I do not know what Obbo would say about the flamboyant and limelight plus inexpensive popularity seeking Mukula, whom he once described as ‘a fair weather friend.’
Mukula’s case has had an unlikely effect on the public. At a time when people are raving mad about blatant corruption, you thought that there would be simultaneous joy and agreement on this conviction. Sorry, there are people who feel that something is obscene here. Yes Mukula took the money (Shs260 million) but he was not alone. More than Shs1.6 billion went missing. ‘Worse’ still Mukula refunded the money which may have meant that he was ‘guilty.’ But even on this one he was not alone.
Arthur Mugumya returned Shs6.3m; Robert Ssemogerere returned Shs41m, Peter Kafuko Shs21m, Nusura Tiperu took back Shs33m and Dan Kalule Shs6m. Alice Kaboyo, a relative of the First Family, who embezzled over Shs250 million, was sentenced to a fine and a caution while there was no evidence to pin the other ministers Alex Kamugisha and Jim Muhwezi who even without saying are all from western Uganda.
That is the basis of the argument that there is something unfair about these things.
In my opinion, if Mukula stole the money he should carry his cross irrespective of who goes off scot free. My major interest in this matter is how like Mukula, people who claim to be so close to Museveni do not seem to know him very well.
Someone who has a history with the President once described Museveni in terms of his perception of power as being a lion in a den. He said that if one enters or attempts to enter he gets eaten.
Mukula in his incessant encounters with the limelight, has made forays into that den. Wikileaks revealed that he made demeaning and asinine remarks about the First Family, and mainly the presidential succession to an American Ambassador whom Museveni said ‘must be an idiot.’
Then another mistake. In an amateurish act that is the wont of novice politicians, he made it public that some of the money he signed for was for the First Lady. The First Family especially Janet Museveni, carry themselves as God fearing and is in the leadership of this country as an act of self abnegation to help the people prosper. They react furiously to anyone who contradicts this notion.
Then Mukula has declared his intentions to contest for the presidency come 2016 which is considered to be an affront on Museveni’s ‘personal property.’
He has extrovertly schmoozed with the leading candidate for the Kenyan presidency Raila Amolo Odinga and that would be a weighty ally to Mukula’s ambitions should Raila win.
Pursuing the Gavi funds matter vigorously to its logical conclusion became an effective way of dealing with Mukula.
But Mukula still has hope to redeem himself. If he is granted bail, he may come out and lead the fifth term campaign (or whatever term for I have lost count) for Museveni and become a leading advocate for those who claim that Uganda cannot be, without Museveni. The bail will last sine die and there may be an argument he should be freed since he refunded the money. When then Brigadier Moses Ali was sent to jail, he came out and praised Museveni for imprisoning him because according to him if he had been free, his enemies would have killed him.
Now Ali is a full General and a Deputy Prime Minister. He learnt his lesson. Mukula can opt to be a good student by -selling his soul to buy his freedom.
Mr Sengoba is a commentator on political and social issues. email@example.com