It’s not usual, especially in the Ugandan culture to write an obituary for one still alive even when terminally ill. Relatives, friends and well-wishers could come kicking dust on your face protesting and cursing although that doesn’t save their patient.
By Ofwono Opondo
You don’t have to be envious over official burials lately being accorded to departing state officials, but one thing emerging is that they’re turning into pomp, vanity, and extravagance at the taxpayers’ expense.
Shock, outrage, tragedy, the feelings of helplessness at the hands of personal armed guards and yet none cannot accurately describe murder most foul of Minister Col (Rtd) Charles Engola Mac Odwogo in cold blood by his UPDF military guard who was supposed to protect him. Then the marauding conspiracy theorists of ill-intent spewing political sewage.
As powerful countries evacuated first, their diplomatic staff, then citizens, and reluctantly nationals from other countries from Sudan conflict, the 72-hour ceasefire agreed upon by the fighting Generals, those left behind face grim prospects, and is a tragedy for Africa. The overwhelming majority of Sudanese civilian citizens cannot flee beyond their country’s borders.
The noose is gradually but surely tightening around the neck of several ministers and we sympathise. Mary Goretti Kitutu, Amos Lugolobi, and Agnes Nanduttu have now been charged in the Anti-Corruption for their involvement in the diversion of mabati meant for Karamoja region. Former television journalist, turned MP and State Minister Nanduttu ran until her energy got sapped, then in vain hid from police investigators but dejectedly discovered that Uganda was too small.
The political and legal reading now appears evidently on the wall, and some of the ministers prominently cited in the diversion, receipt and putting to personal use the roofing sheets meant for the vulnerable people in Karamoja need to jump and not wait to be pushed. Carry your own crosses, and we thank The New Vision newspaper for breaking the story, being bold, firm and vigorously exposing the suspects.
Finally, Karamoja affairs minister Mary Goretti Kitutu fell to her greed and sloppiness. Kitutu, her brother and personal assistant were this week arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court for abuse of office in relation to the diversion of relief items for the economically stressed Karamoja region instead benefiting some ministerial colleagues. Since the scandal broke out in late January Kitutu has been elusive including evading the police in a futile hope she would find a political round-about.
John Nagenda, of One Man’s Week column is gone and with him, the flourish style. Nagenda died 4, March, 2023, aged 84, and as he would say “never throw away old pantyhose. Use the old ones to tie gutters, child-proof cabinets, tie toilet flappers, or hang Christmas ornaments.” He could have added “if a possum takes up residence in your shed, grab a barbecue brush to coax him out. If he doesn’t leave, brush him for twenty minutes and let him stay.” Beginning today, I will replace his column.
The ongoing saber-rattling characterized by finger and tongue wagging, and violent street protests led by Raila Odinga against what he calls an ‘illegitimate’ government of President William Samoei Arap Ruto is shocking, uncalled for and a journey into futility that could drag Kenya to undesirable peril. It’s more like the 2011-16 episodes in Uganda led by the now diminished Col. (rtd) DR Warren Smith Kizza Besigye Kifefe, which took him and his erstwhile outfit FDC to nowhere.
News that China has brokered rapprochement between two Middle-East Arab rivals, Iran and Saudi Arabia hasn’t received much traction in the western media presumably it embarrassed them because they have spent energy driving antagonism, wars, death, and economic ruin. According to the deal, within the next two months, Iran and Saudi Arabia that broke ties in 2016 will re-establish diplomatic relations, post ambassadors and their foreign ministers meet.