In the vampire state, the threads of corruption crisscross, overlap and intertwine, forming a kind of gigantic complex organic fabric from which it is extremely difficult to exclude one.
When President Museveni says that he would be ready to cast the first stone at the corrupt, because he has never indulged in a corrupt act, I would not waste serious ink discussing that claim.
All it means is that those who have political power separate those features of vampire activity that serve their interests and put them in a frame of legality and an illusion of legitimacy, fully backed by constitutional and legislative provisions, which, of course, are themselves usually products of vampire manipulation, even outright bribery.
In the politics of the vampire state, the very language that describes things and events gets deliberately corrupted. Caucusing, facilitation and classified spending are used to describe theft. Accountability often means falsification. A worker is sometimes a ghost. Patriotism is claimed by traitors. Sometimes cooperation is used to describe conspiracy. Rigging means you are clever. Visionary describes cynical self-interest.
The people who have power use these words with abandon, not because they think all the other citizens are too stupid to see through the falsehoods, but because they despise all the other citizens. It is a form of humiliating the citizens to weaken their self-confidence. The citizen must never have faith in themselves.
Now, there is something that many ordinary people do not understand. The rulers of a vampire state need religion. They need religion, not to make the citizens any holier, but to make the citizens more gullible.
Through its complex interconnections, the vampire state impoverishes the mass of its citizens, but the rulers must dangle illusions of great wealth and happiness to prevent rebellions.
It does not matter if the hope generated remains false for years, as long as it is sustained. The more gullible the citizens, the longer their hope can be sustained. Certain forms of fanatical religious faith and witchcraft are great peddlers of false hope.
That is why our pastors and witchdoctors are often ready partners and accessories in the process of duping the common citizen. Their goals and the goals of the rulers meet at the pocket of the believer and taxpayer.
It is not a mystery that the map of deep political corruption on our continent is also the map of the most fanatical faith and witchcraft.
Ten days ago, our rulers were leading mass walk protests, ostensibly against corruption. Two weeks from today, our most successful pastors will be hosting mega prayer gatherings, ostensibly to get 2020 miracles.
The ruling politicians and their functionaries are believed to have stolen billions on the anti-corruption day. The pastors are already in a huge media campaign for the billions to be collected on December 31.
The witchdoctor’s earnings and calendar are usually determined by the client’s circumstances and shifting fate, and he usually does not indulge in mass exhibitions. In a way, our witchdoctors are more dignified than the rulers and the pastors.
But just as the rulers do not want serious competition, the pastors and witchdoctors also hate serious competitors. You will never hear Mr Museveni encouraging a serious contender for State House. Instead, he will unleash the goons of the State to whip him.
Similarly, when the veils of pretence are removed, all our powerful pastors are sworn enemies.
Observe, in all their preaching and prayer exhibitions, the pastors now urge their followers to work hard at all kinds of jobs and bring in ‘seeds’ and tithes, but no successful pastor or witchdoctor ever urges his followers to become pastors or apostles or witchdoctors. Why; because they have learned from the rulers of the vampire state that greed is good, but greed is best for those who already have.
Mr Tacca is a novelist, socio-political commentator.