Daniel Kalinaki's weblog

A commentary on news and events in Uganda and elsewhere


Just an ordinary bloke.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Basking in Bali, Bustling in Bangkok, Bluffing in Kampala

BANGKOK - And finally we came to the shores of Bali, amidst the heat and humidity, the hustlers offering coupons, the taxi drivers hooting at anything that walked, and the Kuta cowboys -- the legendary gigolos of these sands -- who, with their overtanned bodies, fisherman's pants and greasy hair reminded me of a greasy rolex from Wandegeya. What, I wonder, do the Japanese women see in them?

Anyway, more of that later in settled times and climes (back to dreary but good old L soon). I am writing this chop chop in our hotel lobby in Bangkok with the rain falling outside. It will not stop the party tonight and it never does. Bangkok, of which I hope to write more later, seems to change shirts in the evening, from a busy, bustling metropolis, to a busy, bustling (and drinking) Metropolis. Oh, how time flies! But soon, very soon, shall we return to these matters.

I could not help reading, in our papers, about President Museveni's missive to his government and MPs expressing shock at learning that government contracts are inflated and that money is siphoned. Oh, dear me! What's with the president's memory? Does he not remember the 4,000 litres of fuel siphoned off by an elder in his National Resistance Movement who is currently a minister (after losing his parliamentary seat on grounds that he rigged the last election?)

If that is too far back, should someone not remind him of the 1998 small matter of the junk helicopters in which President Museveni revealed he had forgiven his brother, Gen. Saleh for inflating the contract, and asked him to use the proceeds in the war in the north? Come on! Was the President not involved in the creation of Tri-Star which went down with about 20 billion of our cash, and which is on the verge of getting more? or Basajjabalaba, the head of the NRM Entrepreuers team who got a government bailout on the President's instructions -- money that was meant to recapitalise Uganda Development Bank?

The list of inflated contracts snakes all the way back to the hallowed corridors of State House (both Nakasero and Entebbe whose costs were also grossly inflated!). Look around you in Kampala and try to count those projects that we not inflated or whose construction did not involve cutting corners. UBC's relocation costs? Inflated. UCB's sale? Muddled and inflated. CHOGM costs? Inflated. National ID costs? Inflated. Army numbers? Inflated. Oil pipeline costs? Inflated.

If all this is news to the President then I fear we might be in more trouble than earlier feared. Corruption is probably the biggest threat to Uganda at the moment (an upset tummy having done more harm to Kony that thousands of bullets). The cancer of corruption in Uganda will not be cured by parliamentary speeches and angry missives from State House but from strong, sustained and impartial investigation, arrest and trial of all involved -- including those who walk the highest corridors of power!

Now, my beer Chang warms and the rain has stopped. Time to party.


Blogger Biryabarema said...

wow, what a clever headline! most excited by the bluffing bit though

2:18 pm  
Blogger Conan's Eye said...

Clever headline, powerful humour and satire. That's U at ur best. I loved the piece brother.


2:52 pm  
Blogger Laureen said...

Just Brilliant! am totally amazed. would love to read more.

12:52 pm  

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