Talk Of Mafia Erodes Hope For Democracy In Uganda

Mr Morris Komakech

In the last couple of weeks, Uganda’s media space has been awash with controversies and scandals, one after the other.

The storm created by the powerful Byanyima family during the Kanyumunyu murder bail hearing, and Hon. Odonga Otto’s antics rivalled and suppressed the topical “Presidential Handshake” involving pillaging 6 billion Shs for officials of the Uganda Revenue Authority and their corollaries.

These events came on the heel of one another, and therefore, each missed its proper place for public scrutiny, given their relevance.

The one event that remains unsurpassed in magnitude and impact is the scandalous Presidential handshake. Apparently, the President is in panic mode over it too. He has summoned the NRM MPs to discuss the matter with the probable aim of suppressing it.

Incidentally, my motive is not to scrutinise any of the aforementioned. Spending time scrutinising each of these events only leads to a foregone conclusion – the curse of an illegitimate regime.

I therefore thought it worthy to leave such inquiries to reductionist and flame fighters or experts of treating signs and symptoms with buckets of water, or aspirins.

The emergency of mafia networks we see in public service, governance, justice system, policy community, media, and so forth, all attest to the end of a meaningful democracy for us.

Not that we had any meaningful democracy to start with. However, in fairness of all things, the fundamental change promised over 30 years ago, had ingrained in us such a false hope. And, with a constitution upon which we are fluxed, one would imagine an orderly society.

We can sit back now on our haunches and agree that such promises have faded and a new reality stares at us with an ugly face. Not only have we lost our civic, political, and economic rights to the mafias in the last 30 years, we lost our citizenship rights, too.

We learned that African regimes have the same tendencies played out by different characters. They start well and tapper off at some critical point, then degenerate. We need to study and catch that critical point when they tapper off. Maybe it will provide some scientific evidence in support of term limits.

Clearly, few similarities tie together our post-colonial regimes; longevity, personalities, and legacy. All our post-colonial Presidents have espoused some fringe desire of ruling Uganda for life. All of them exhibited a degree of tyranny and episodes of turbulence, suffering, and insurgency in Uganda. All of them presided over remarkable corruption and nepotism – magendo, mafuta mingi, and now mafias. All of them were masters in intrigue and sectarianism, although Museveni has surpassed all of them!

At 30 years, Museveni has ruled twice the combined tenure of all post-colonial leaders before him. Having outlived each of his predecessors, Museveni is now a captive of state mafia that sustains him in power. At this point, Museveni is more afraid of the Mafia in his regime than a life in retirement.

With an entrenched mafia in every institution of the state, the Republic has dissociated into distinctive societies; the state, monopolized by a nexus of mafias, in the Army, Banks, Police, Judiciary, Parliament, Media, Statehouse, Border Services, Revenue Authority, telecommunication, Construction, Wildlife, Local Government, Foreign Missions, Oil, Minerals, Education, Finance, etc.

Everywhere you go, individuals with mystifying powers emerge at strategic and critical points of the economy, like shadows with long arms, to tap into every monies that comes into Uganda’s economy.  They even plot apriori, what kind of capital and investment ventures should get lured into Uganda, and how they can use such entities to fleece off Ugandans.  Everyone has become a dealer, broker, and shark, all simultaneously.

This complex network of mafiaso holds Museveni at ransom, and keeps his regime in place; therefore, they are one with yellow regalia. These Mafias have now emerged full-throat, in cahoots, and taken over our country, rights, and our citizenship.

The second Republic is you, and I, outside the shades of the state. The third Republic is their victims, deprived or resources to live a meaningful life.