A prayer for Uganda’s oil

Sunday September 22 2019

Alan Tacca

Alan Tacca 

By Alan Tacca

Our Father, who resides in our hearts and sees and controls everything that we can reach in the universe, stop those who spread fake stories that you live in Heaven, making you an exile in a place we know nothing of. Stop their ignorance and hear our prayers.

Give us the strength to earn our day’s bread, especially if we ate yesterday’s bread. And reduce your love for Uganda’s thieves, who make us toil and sweat twice over for one day’s bread, and whose greed denied many citizens yesterday’s bread.

Do not forgive our crimes, and do not encourage us to forgive those who commit grave crimes in our society, as that can only breed impunity and injustice. After Kitatta and Kayihura, who are bad enough, fate may deliver a whale!

Oh Lord, do not let us rejoice for too long in the capacity of foreign nations to punish our criminals. Give us the will and strength to punish the criminals ourselves, even if they be brothers, sisters, close friends, in-laws or very powerful men.

Our Lord, do not be like the priests, who gorge themselves on dirty money, and who wink at each other as they demand and collect it from the criminals in your name; or in the name of your Son, who was crucified and is no longer with us, and who, therefore, cannot protest or otherwise issue a disclaimer.

Inject into our leaders a conscience, so that the citizens may eat of the gifts nature put in their land.
Oh Lord, we especially pray for Uganda’s oil, which nature drained from other living things and stored in this land even before our ancestors became monkeys.


Protect this oil from Uganda’s vampires. Blunt their fangs if you cannot change their hearts; for they are more stubborn than mules and have less shame than a pig.

Open the eyes of our Energy minister, so that she may stop deceiving herself and her compatriots.
Let her wake up from her delusions and see that Uganda cannot avoid the oil curse unless her people demolish the vampire state and set up a new order.

Minister Muloni has in a recent BBC interview attempted to show that Uganda’s oil industry can perform an impossible dance, which would involve dodging the web of corruption, political interference and nepotism.

Then their indirect effects, including the pervading national malaise, incompetence, as well as the inevitable high taxes and resulting inflated fuel and utility price tags aimed at filling some of the holes left by corruption; things to be factored in the cost of extracting gluey oil that probably has to be heated down the pipeline, without wiping out the investors’ profit margin, in a market without major wars and a world thinking more seriously about non-fossil alternatives.

Oh Lord, do not let investors come and smell our oil, taste the rotten ground, look at our suspicious snouts and balk, or turn away, half-impressed, or unimpressed.

Lord, make us understand that no enterprise – indeed especially oil – can evade and escape the mechanisms and effects of a thoroughly corrupt State.

So help us, God; as only you can redeem this land, redeem it. For it was inscribed in the national motto, that the allegiance of the citizens to their country is nothing, if not to you as well.

You and their country are a seamless union; which, when it betrays them – if it betrays them – can only condemn them to the wretchedness into which cursed nations are cast.
O God, don’t die. Amen.

Mr Tacca is a novelist, socio-political commentator.