Coronavirus: Lt Gen Kainerugaba should tweet on NSSF’s intervention

Saturday March 28 2020



Asuman Bisiika

Asuman Bisiika  

By Asuman Bisiika

Lt Gen Muhoozi Keinerugaba has been an attraction on Twitter. One of those tweets that attracted my attention was on pelting Mr Bebe Cool with empty plastic water bottles.

In the said tweet, he challenged (and chided) the police for doing nothing to those suspected to have pelted the said Bebe Cool during a music show.

And as if on cue, the police ‘acted’; an act construed (wrongly or rightly) to be a direct response to Gen Muhoozi’s tweet. I won’t fault Gen Muhoozi on his Bebe Cool tweet.

Indeed, last week I also called on the Ministry of Health to pick the bills for quarantining Ugandan nationals. And the ministry responded as if they were directly responding to my request. Neither will I fault the police for taking action on those suspected to have pelted Bebe Cool with bucupa. They were doing their job.

Yet I was mortified by the anti-climactic end to the Bebe Cool Pelting case. I am now more disposed to appreciate what happened as a new genre of drama called Counter Shakespearean Tragicomedy. This is a play where there is such a compelling universal moral cause, but no heroes and villains (no conflict).

If I were a university lecturer, I would task my students to create a social and cultural expression in which a quintessential Shakespearean High Born (or courtier) like Gen Muhoozi and Bebe Cool would be cast as characters (in such a Counter Shakespearean Tragicomic play).

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Ugandans are united behind Mr Museveni on this matter of the assault on coronavirus pandemic. However, there is a clearly growing distance between Mr Museveni and the Ugandans behind him. Mr Museveni doesn’t seem to appreciate that the State must offer socio-economic reliefs to mitigate the effects of the lockdown.

Desperate, some people have suggested the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) should offer some relief by cashing its members a percentage of their savings. I associate with that policy proposal.

Mr Joachim Buwembo, a retired (but not tired) media personality, is against the idea of NSSF offering financial relief to its members. In his corner, he has Mr Henry Mutebe and Ivan Okuda. For the sake of total disclosure, I collected my NSSF ka money in 2017.

And since Buwembo is (likely to be) older than me, the assumption is that he too collected his ka money. Okuda and Mutebe (both more than 20 years our juniors) are likely to be active contributors. So, our divergent positions are not driven by passion caused by ‘proximity to benefit’. We of the Yes-Group are only asking for a percentage (less than the interest rate).

I personally suggest 5 percent. The No-Group (of Buwembo) is asking us: How about the public sector employees? The government should do something that side of the isle.

But what is the fundamental question on this NSSF intervention debate? Government is under obligation to cause a socio-economic relief intervention by adjusting its fiscal policy as a response to the emergency we are now in. The government has remained mute on this matter.

Since Ugandans do not expect anything from the State, we (the Yes-Group), are seeking refuge in the NSSF ka money. In one way or the other, we are basically protesting government’s mute policy on causing a social economic intervention.

Gen Keinerugaba’s Tweet on this (NSSF) matter of national importance would be welcomed as pure and devoid of personal interest and benefit. Or rather, he should just tweet on the need for a stimulant economic package to mitigate the effect of the economic lockdown. Peace!

Mr Bisiika is the executive
editor of the East African Flagpost.
abisiika@gmail.com

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