BY BARRISTER PETER MAGOMU MASHATE
Politics is power and the Art of politics does not only lie in how you acquire power but also how you preserve it.
In the general election of 2011, Gen Museveni is said to have told a political rally that I hear people (read Col Besigye) saying that “obukodyo (political acumen and dexterity) bwanzigwako, naye ndina mukasanduko obukodyo Kumi nabubiri ate nakakozesako kamu koka”. At this excellent performance of a stable country who can convincingly doubt of the eleven outstanding to-date?
Arguably whats happening todate is of tectonic proportion in as far as power relations in the NRM and generally the country is concerned. It would seem to me that President Museveni has achieved a CROSS GENERATIONAL INVENTION OF HAJAT NAMYALO UZIEYE by way of CHIEF MUZUKULU.
Talk of corruption and the focal point for whistle blowers is the ONC. The whistle blowers are generally patriots not reward scavengers from the office of the IGG. The IGG office to the Wanaichi is arguably elitist and seems detached from Wanaichi. Probably the Wanaichi have never heard of dramatic achievement of this well intentioned Consititutional Ombudsman.
The office of the IGG has a complicated system of rewarding whistle blowers contingent on recovery of the stolen loot at 10% or thereabout. But nothing much has been recovered.
The NRM manifesto commitments have for years stalled because no-one effective or properly embued with patriotism fire could dare question or follow these powerful looters but today the simple, polite Hajat Namyalo and her fearless ONC team dares.
ONC Cadres are fearless, persuasive and diplomatic and are achieving results on the ground.They live in the community and people give them information and lines of inquiry relating to service delivery and corruption freely without any obligation.
The ONC have no political baggage that they are seeking votes in any elective offices, save for, the vote of the President. People therefore trust them as selfless honest people-centred patriots. But this credit so far directly goes to the ONC leadership quality and discipline of Hajat NAMYALO.
The ONC have dealt a big blow to land grabbers especially in the new cities where jurisdiction was shifted from district Land Board to City Land board with years left on Wanainch’s leases deliberately being ground away or delayed for reversion ownership to City authority and allocation to land grabbers.
Some of the applications have been outstanding for over 6 years yet lots of unlawful collection (read bribes) of funds under the table have been lost by Wanaichi. The ONC are politely but firmly approaching these corrupt bureaucrats and issues of the less privileged are being worked on and many examples abide.
Abuse of public places and fire emergency spaces have been rented out by office bearers in towns and cities (including Mbale city) for even charcoal selling business (in its self a fire hazard) in what amounts to abuse of office and yet these officers are untouchable yet all blame goes to the ruling party the NRM.
Hospitals, roads and above all Parish development models and Emyoga amongst other government local intervention are now being talked about as the ONC is slowly but surely grinding away the MINDSET OF IMPUNITY.
The fear the ONC insitils in the cartels of looters of public funds can only be equated and traced back to the fear “Wembly operation” Instilled in organised Robberies in uganda and indeed the fear in the 1980s NRA liberation war instilled in the then so called National Liberation Army ( UNLA).
As a matter of fact during the 1980 election I was a UPM Youth activist and campaigned for Mzee Maumbe Mukwana in Mbale and Nakaloke on the Uganda Pariotic Movement (UPM) platform of “CLEAN LEADERSHIP” which was really in short supply.
But UPM was the poorest political party while UPC had sacks (ebikutiya) of money. Therefore, membership of UPM at its inception and birth was based on patriotism, conscience and principle particularly on the only asset UPM paraded the promise of CLEAN LEADERSHIP and PANAFRICANSM.
Against this background, when the NRA/NRM captured power in 1986 the entire country and indeed the region welcomed them with the “Engombo” “Kakati twebaka kutulo” – meaning that after years of turmoil, murder and savagery they were now breathing peace and soundly sleeping.
The scourge today is corruption affecting service delivery and Hajat NAMYALO is well and truly arrived. The contemporary unfolding Presidential patriotic determination to arraign Karamoja mabaati suspect bolsters Hajat NAMYALO pro people crusade – and yes Hajat NAMYALO now stands on the right side of his history in this revolutionary fight against corruption and abuse of office and trust by those privileged to hold that trust.
In short the current KARAMOJA mabaati corruption play-out events indisputably affirm that the NRM has irrevocably and truly ushered in Consititutionalism and rule of law. That even those accused of the most ant-people offences remain INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY are are tried and convicted on a very High threshold of BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT. As a matter of fact the President’s bold fight of the suspects in the Karamoja/Karachuna MABATI saga would clinch the President a historical landslide victory if the election was for example called even next year. This NRM momentum against corruption should and ought to remain consistent and no let up.
The accused, including but not limited to, Karamoja mabaati suspects as and when charged can also excercise their Consititutional right to apply for bail and the court has a duty to entertain the application but dispose it off in accordance with other statutory bail requirements. Bail is generally based on two limbs namely; (1) BAIL IN PRINCIPLE (whether the offence is bailable as gravity and degrees of offences vary & other public interest factors etc) and (2) BAIL IN PRACTICE (surites and supervision of the bailed/accused person etc) looking at all factors in the round.
This is consititutionalism and rule of law ushered in by the NRM.
The writer will return to the analysis of Bail in criminal prosecution as a universal human right but qualified and not absolute right for reasons under a separate cover in due course.
The writer is a Constitutional and Human rights Barrister-at-law of the Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn of Court London United Kingdom