The other day or perhaps maybe the day before that, I went about my work – of stretching my legs while making courtesy calls on my ‘friends’ in the political circles in the Banana Republic. It is amazing how they all are; really diverse and different form each other.
I was particularly struck by this minister who I spent about three hours interacting with on that Saturday after I caught him in his office where he had made a quick dash to clear his desk of pending work, and this was shocking – a minister (never mind he was a junior minister) in Uganda who goes to work on a weekend with one object on his mind – to clear his desk. There are some politicians and including ministers that are quiet patriotic.
Despite his other numerous commitments and assignments he had failed to make it to his office nearly the whole week and he thought he would go to finish up with his work. We had a small discussion because he had managed to finish before I got in, then we headed out of his office, this is what was shocking. A line of about more than 50 miserable looking people; some well dressed and some not were ‘waiting in ambush’ for him because the security personnel could not let them in.
He warned me not to be or even aspire to be a Minister of Government in the Uganda of today (but even if I were to be that would be in the Uganda of tomorrow) because “you’ll die poor and early.”
Then, this Minister that I thought was Honorable turned to me clearly out and said, “How did they even know I was here?” Upon his question, I followed up and found out that there are people who always camp at his office from Monday to Saturday with the hope of seeing him and presenting their ‘issues and grievances’.
He warned me not to be or even aspire to be a Minister of Government in the Uganda of today (but even if I were to be that would be in the Uganda of tomorrow) because “you’ll die poor and early.” This was a chilling confession that made me realize that whether MPs continue raising their salaries and emoluments, they poorer they become and the more desperate they become. It is the same reason that the Parliament grounds of the Republic are supposed to be Public areas but you will not be allowed access if you have come to see your representative in the house unless it was some other business that brought you.
The peasantry in Uganda is getting worse, they are getting lazier and less productive by the day and their burden of their survival……
Back to the Minister I was checking on, while we walked his ‘constituents’ came rushing forth to greet him calling all fancy and aggrandizing names/titles, then came their ‘ridiculous’ requests from one who said, “Hon, i have not eaten in two days, I need some food” with such desperation that you almost feel sorry; – for this one he had to borrow money from his driver to give her, then others also poured out their demands, asking for school fees, money……barely anyone asked for a job or some assistance to do with wealth creation. This was all too telling. The peasantry in Uganda is getting worse, they are getting lazier and less productive by the day and their burden of their survival, and their lives are now the weight of the politicians, even when they ‘steal’ for those who do, they have such a great burden to bear, than they can enrich themselves even if they wanted. Unless they stole and quit politics.
Cry your beloved country, how to make people productive is now the most urgent need that should feature on the agenda of all the political actors and leaders. Lest we support the politicians to continue being ‘rightfully corrupt’.
The demands of the people from the politicians ought to change first, to more collective issues not the simplistic individual demands.
Not all Politicians are as illustrated above; many times it is the people, you don’t get apples where you have orange trees.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY