Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Museveni & family; the tale of Wafukho

After being “let down” by elite politicians for a while, President Museveni is now turning to his family for support. He told the BBC that his decision to appoint his wife, Janet, to the “demanding” Karamoja Affairs docket was because elite ministers had shunned the area, prompting him to ask for his wife’s help.
True, in 2006, Maj. Tom Butime turned down the appointment to that ministry after his constituents demanded that he does so or gets recalled. Butime had previously served in other ministries, including internal affairs and his constituents viewed his posting to Karamoja as a demotion.
So, our stuck President turns to his wife for help. And note that Mr Museveni also told BBC that his wife’s performance as Ruhama MP had been sterling so far, another credit.
Ladies and gentlemen, simply put, our President is running out of people to trust and deliver his agenda. The only people he can rely on now are family members, whom he said he does not care if they take up “positions of sacrifice”. Yes, it is a sacrifice to become your brother’s presidential adviser (Salim Saleh) or head one of your father’s military elite outfits (Muhoozi Kainerugaba).
What does this mean? Is it only the President’s kin, who if they take positions that involve hefty budgets, troops of military escorts, are sacrificing? What about the over 200 teachers in Adjumani who every morning troop to class to teach yet they are not on government payroll and are not sure of pay at the end’s month? What should we call this?
What about the hundreds of traffic officers manning our streets, standing in the heat of sun or cold of rain---at times even minus basics like umbrellas, boots and jackets? What should we call this---opulence, paradise?
The President should tell us the truth. Many years in power have created him an inexplicable political web, leaving him unsure of who is for or against him. In typical African fashion, when we are scared of even our shadows, it is in blood relatives that we take refuge in. The adage “blood is thicker than water” comes in handy here.
While I was a kid, my mum told me a tale of Wafukho, a village boy who went to town in search of wealth. Indeed he got the money and as expected, got swarmed in the pleasures of town. The succulent thighs of women, bitter-sweet content of the bottle and the dazzling lights of the disco. Before long, Wafukho was coughing and passing out stool. The women deserted him, the bottle became sour, and the money vanished. It is then that he remembered home. He trooped back and his mother—whom he had long ignored welcomed him back---nursed him and he died in her arms.
My mum’s tale might have aimed at teaching me the basics of never forgetting one’s roots but it also showed how thick the blood bond can be.
When everyone else has deserted you—you can be sure one person will stick by you—your relative. This notion is not lost to our President.

1 comment:

Esquire of the mountain said...

spot on....the woes of being in power too long and next will be the curse of the african leader...