Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why Hon. Amama Mbabazi was the most shamed

While appearing at the Capital Gang a popular weekend radio talk show on 91.3FM on 12th December 2009, Hon. Amama Mbabazi stated that those who think that there was a problem on the sell of his land to National Social Security Fund were idiots and that he knows me (Jasper Tumuhimbise)personally and that I'm an FDC activist having been dismissed from my former job.

I have already mentioned in my previous blog that this was a public perception; so on whether those behind the book and indeed whether there was a loss to NSSF, that we shall never know because he (the minister) used all means to frustrate the inquiry that was before Parliament. If indeed only idiots cannot see, then why was the bright Hon. so much bothered to the extent of calling the shots!? That aside NSSF belongs to subscribers and they are the only ones with a mandate to state the extent of loss. Of course one day the public will know even when those of us are long gone!

On knowing me personally, I think he is right. I have met Hon. Mbabazi twice and why I was meeting him will be a story for another day. But whether that meant personal or rather individual knowledge, I will never know. For me, I can't state that I personally know Hon. Mbabazi - no I know him but not on personal terms.

As to whether I'm an FDC activist (a senior one) of course those who know my political sympathy know the parties in Uganda that I don't symphathize with. The truth I hate corruption and politics- they facilitate one another! However, if someone in charge of security thinks that I'm in a certain party; either indeed I'm in or his source should be as inaccurate as the statement made itself! However, in the likelihood that I'm indeed an FDC activist, I have not seen any law that prohibits any Ugandan from stating the truth!

Having been a National Coordinator my role was to forward the book of Name and Shame: my political leaning had nothing to do with the content. But in our nation any thing that portrays some individuals in Government in a certain light, is 'from the opposition'. To that extent therefore, I'm guilty.

On having been dismissed from my former job at least the organisations I worked for are formal and known Uganda Railways Corporation and Inspectorate of Government. No rocket science is required to cross check. And by God's grace no institution has ever got an opportunity to dismiss me! But still let me assume the worst: What has the dismissal of a person got to do with their current product? May be there will never be a Paul, he must be seen in the light of Saul.

I recall once what resulted in a dismissal was of course a strike at a school I liked it because I fought (using my own means) corruption over the sale of the school farm: that dismissal shaped me and if I got a second chance I would still fight for the same but using other means- so that I don't hurt myself. So, even the falsehood attacking a personality to discredit a researched publication holds little water.

If I was to shame the most corrupt, I know whom I would and most probably Hon. Mbabazi would not be my top nominee. The Shame and Fame book highlighted Hon. Mbabazi as follows:

John Patrick Amama Mbabazi

A graduate from Makerere University, Amama holds a Law (LLB) degree (1975) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre. He is an Advocate of the Courts of Judicature of Uganda and a member of the Uganda Law Society since 197722. Professionally, he worked as State Attorney in the Attorney General’s Chambers, rising to the position of Secretary of the Uganda Law Council.

Amama Mbabazi was perceived by 154 respondents to have committed acts of shame after becoming ensnared in a battle with members of the Ugandan Parliamentary Committee on
Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises over the ‘Temangalo’ scandal in which he alongside with his business partner Amos Nzeeyi were accused of influence peddling and pressuring the National Social Security Fund to buy a piece of his land for UGX 11 billion (over US $6 million) through a company known as Arma Ltd.23A parliamentary probe committee was appointed to interrogate the scandal.

Notwithstanding the minority report, the Committee submitted the findings through a majority report to the speaker Edward Ssekandi, and recommended the dismissal of Mr Mbabazi and Dr Ezra Suruma, the Finance Minister then for violating the Leadership Code Act 2003. The report pinned the two Ministers on conflict of interest and influence peddling despite Mbabazi’s plea of innocence on grounds that it was a private business affair(24). Hon Amama Mbabazi was reported to be holding day and night meetings to dissuade undecided MPs from holding him accountable for the now-controversial Shs11 billion Temangalo land deal (Daily Monitor of 1st November 2008)

Parliament did not discuss the report on account of technicalities that it did not possess the jurisdiction to enforce the leadership code Act and to date the guilt or otherwise of Hon Amama is yet to be established. However, the public perceived these acts as shameful.

He was the First Director General of External Security Organisation (1986-1991) and was the member of the Constituency Assembly that discussed and promulgated the 1995 Constitution. Previously, he held the portfolios of Minister of State in the President’s office, in-charge of Political Affairs, Minister of State for Defence from 1996-2002, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional Cooperation, Attorney General and Minister of Defence(22).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
23 The Daily Monitor, 12 October 2008, . “What the NSSF Probe Found”
24 Parliamentary debates (Hansard ) on the NSSF.
25 The Daily Monitor Newspaper ,1st November 2008
Book of Fame and Shame 25

Post script
Of course I never expected complements from Hon. Mbabazi, but I also never expected him to state lies on a radio. May be the shock should understandably be that he was seen in the public eye as the most shameful- in comparative terms that would real hurt!

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