This deadly coronavirus is denying us ‘kitu kidogo’

Sunday March 15 2020


By Jacobs Seaman Odongo

If coronavirus won’t come to us, let’s go to it. That is sickly what our venerable government officials were trying to get at when they wired Shs2b to Ugandan students stuck in China in error.
Money. It’s all that seem to raise eyebrows in the mid of or after a major public concern in Uganda. Just shake-shake anything from Chogm to locusts and dirty money trails will fall.
Anyway, for the good of money, this bloody virus should have hit the potholes of Jampala – what some of you call Kampala – long before doctors in Wuhan diagnosed it. Wait, you might think me a sadist but who doesn’t know that abnormal situations present opportunities to reap material gains?

Last time locusts were attacking swathes of Kenyan grassland, what our good leaders did was pray for it to cross over. The insects refused. They tried to bait them over. The insects still refused. So we allegedly made them up. Someone thinks so.
According to Ssegirinya, whom we talked to during a great time of siesta, government officials who were only too eager to reap from locusts even sent baits to entice the insects into crossing into Uganda.

“These people saw manna in that locust invasion thing so they did all they could and when only as many locusts as the vote I secured in the City Hall speaker poll crossed into Uganda, they wrote lengthy claim forms for money as part of being on the team fighting locusts,” Ssegirinya appeared to say in the siesta moment.
He added that journalists were then taken around on a wild locust chase that ended with crossing borders into Kenya either by error or commission.
“The officials had to show the journalists those insects. Of course, these guys were not aware they had crossed into Kenya so they reported what they saw and were briefed was in Uganda,” he said.
Asked how he knew all such detail, he smiled benignly and said: “I’m clever, my friend. Don’t you know that?”

Looking at the coronavirus and the global chaos it is wreaking, I think the profiteering brigade in government must be unhappy that the bloody thing is not coming to Uganda. If mere locusts that were just passing like baby nimbus clouds could see more than Shs20b used, imagine something that is now a pandemic touching base. As it stands, there are people already lobbying to be on the Coronavirus Response Committee long before it is even conceived. There would be a lot of money and a lot of arcades and malls sprouting after the virus is dealt with.
Let’s force that virus here. And if it refuses, we can even create one or at least the impression of one. This minister who is going around issuing stringent measures to contain the virus, she must just be envious of those of us who see roses where others are skipping thorns.
For starters, her hair is short. Such a lady needs next to nothing to spend in saloon. So she thinks we must all be like her. No, we want that virus. It means money and money is everything here.

Elections are around the corner and whoever can fetch more money than Ssegirinya’s votes stands a great chance to win the hugely monetised elections in whatever capacity they seek wananchi endorsement through some salt and sugar.
I have an uncle who works in some ministry here. I am representing his mind right now. Money mind that is.
However, the face of me says coronavirus has done some good. Right now if some exaggerated VIPs fell ill and needed to spend taxpayers’ sweat on medical trip abroad, they would realise the real value of Mulago hospital.
So tell me. Isn’t this plague a good thing? Albert Camus would note that it is levelling the collars so much that the only thing that can separate VIPs from folks like you and me is the siren they use to clear the way.