In the fullness of time, I hope we Africans must embrace what is happening in Africa, corruption is something that we talk about, it’s something that we complaint about, it’s something whose negative impact we recognize, it’s something that even the corrupt acknowledges about it. But the irony and the tragedy at once is that those who engage in corruption love it, the tragedy at once is that those of us who do not engage in it directly, accommodate it, our levels of tolerance of corruption in Africa is amazing, long time ago, a great Greek philosopher said ‘’ it is in the nature of man to harm the small thieves and to elect the great ones into public office’’ we do that in Uganda, we do that in Kenya, we do that in Tanzania, we do that in Africa. And that is why Africa remains the poorest continent on earth. I was this morning re-reading a book which I recommend to you, a book written by a young Zambian economist call Dambisa Moyo, a book called ‘’dead aid’’ and in the introduction of that book, there is a note, which was found in the body of two young Guineans, who died while trying to run away from Africa, today, many young Africans are running away, not so long ago, about four weeks to be precise, three hundreds young Africans drawn in the Mediterranean sea in Lampedusa because they were running away from Africa. Not so long ago, about three weeks to be exact, another group of young Africans drawn next to the island of Malta, because they were running away from Africa, when you look at Africa today, whether you are looking at Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria or indeed any nation in Africa, our riches men and women are the men and women who occupy public offices. We live in a continent were we celebrate thieves, and vilify good men and women, that is the tragedy of Africa, why any other continent in the recent past, has moved in the right direction, Africa still remain in the words of tony Blair, as ‘’ the scars in the conscience of humanity’’ we live in a continent today, were as the young manner said, ‘’ our young women are born attending puberty cannot effort sanitary parts, but our public servants buy iPad which they do not know how to use’’ we live in a continent today, where our leaders who preside over our health sectors have no faith in the health sector, when they are sick and their families are sick, they run away to seek treatments in Germany, France, UK, south Africa and even in India, even our health ministers do not have faith in our health departments. We live in a continent today, were the political leadership have no faith in the education sector, they bring unto us what they call free primary education, or universal primary education, but they can never dare take their children to those schools, we live in countries that we claimed agriculture is the back bone of our society, but we do not encourage technologies to produce crops, Africans are dying younger than they were dying fifty years ago, we live in countries were Africans were energetically seek to ament the status of Rome, while there was war in Mali, while there was war in Mauritania, while there is no peace in Somalia, while there is no rest in Eritrea, Africa is a tragic continent. And I want to submit to you, that corruption is the source of all these. For some reason for reasons which I do not understand, African leaders still engage in primitive accumulation, many Africans particularly those in public service, will never rest, until they have homes in different capitals of the world, which they will never live in, they have cars which they will never drive, they have beds of gold which they have never slept on because they have no sleep anyway. They buy food which they cannot eat because they long lost the appetite, we live in saltines. I had the privilege of serving as the director of the Kenya anti-corruption commission, but it will appear that I don’t understand my brief well, upon being appointed, I assumed that my mandate was to go out there and fight the corrupt, but the truth was I was not supposed to fight corruption, I was supposed to appear to be fighting corruption. Immediately me and my team tried to fight corruption, the parliamentarians in their wisdom and in my own view in their lack of wisdom used the occasion of the amendment of the constitution to disband the organization and to send myself and my four directors out of office, the history of anti-corruption crusaders in Africa is one and the same, their mortality rate in office is very short. Before I was victimized, before my victimization, Nuribadu before me had been victimized in Nigeria, before I was victimized Markaty had been victimized in south Africa and his scorpions disbanded, before I was victimized, my equivalent in Malawi had been victimized. Bore I was victimized my equivalent in Zambia had been victimized. It will appear that in Africa, if you serve your full term it is because you have refused to fight corruption. So the question that we must ask here and now, on an occasion such as this, what must Africa do going forward? It gives me great joy that you Ugandans have moved from the drawing table and you have now chosen to go out there and to do what which is right and good. You have chosen today, through the commencement of this caravan, to move from the comfort of hotels in Kampala, to go into Kalamoja land, to go into Ngulu, to go into Theso, to go into Ohima, to go into Cassese, to go into all the corners of Uganda so that the conscience of the Ugandan can be reawaken. So that they may realize that corruption is a cancer that must not be allowed to grow. But I want to use this occasion to remind you, that it is not going to be easy, the children of darkness, who are the perpetrators of corruption have won advantage over the children of light, they are well organized, they are prepared to kill, they are prepared to do anything on earth, to ensure that their ill-gotten wealth, is retained and protected. I always say, that those who want to fight corruption, must go to the bible and read the book of Mathews, or any of the gospel and read about john the baptist, when they read about that book they must remember that john the baptise was in the habit of telling a king call Herodias, not to engage into an adulterous union with his brother wives, and he said this so often to the irritation of the king , they must remember that during that time there was a dance, they must remember, that there was a lady call Salome, and they must remember that after she dance so well, Salome asked for the head of john the baptist, and I want to remind you, that that is the way it is for corruption fighters today, you are like john the baptize telling the later days Herodias that, you are corrupt, you are corrupt, you must remember that they are Salome’s who will be looking for your head, the question is are you prepared? If you are prepared then I have nothing to fear, because this continent will be liberated. I want you to remember that now that Uganda has discovered oil, the history of oil throughout all Africa has been a sad history. If you go to Nigeria, which is the fourth or the fifth leading producer of oil in Africa, the Nigerians do not have a good story to tell, Nigeria is a great country but it is famous of producing some of the greatest thief the world has ever known, if you go to the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is the riches resource country in the world, and the democratic republic of Congo is famous of producing some of the biggest thieves the world has ever known, if you don’t know, there once live a Mobutu in the DRC. If you then go to Angola, with all its oil, it has one of the riches African women in the world, the daughter of the president, Isabel dos Santos, she claims to be a business woman, but the last time I checked she was just an entrepreneur. And you can go to different African countries, the tragedy of Africa is that Africa is in the business of canonizing thieves and demonizing their saints. But the question is you who are present in this assembly what is it that we must do because corruption is alive and well in our communities. I know in Kenya, and I speak from experience one day, we arrested a cabinet minister for engaging in corruption, on the day that he was arrested, members of parliament from his ethnic group came to my office and said my only claim to fame was that I was in the business of fish finishing their tribe, they said he is our thief, he is a thief but is ours, you should not arrest him, I have no doubt in Uganda, you may have thieves but they are claim by their communities. What are you going to do about it? I know that even here in Uganda, all sectors of the society is not spelled, even the church of Christ is not spelled, even the mosque are not spelled, even the temples are not spelled, so are those seated in this assembly, we have all sin and fallen short of the glory of only of God, and the expectation of the people of Uganda and indeed Africa. So in an occasion such as this, our duties to re-energize ourselves, not so long ago, two weeks to be exact, I was at a function of the African union, and they have now come up with a slogan, ‘’Africa 2063’’ they are saying that if we have lost 50 years, let not this generation loose another fifty years. The question is are we going to gain Africa by mare pronouncement? Or we must change ourselves, we must change our behavioral DNA, so that we are no more attracted to that which is good, bad and evil. The question is are we ready? The question is do we say with our mouth what we do not believe in our hearts? The question is are we going to wait for outsiders to tell us to do what we ought to have done? The question is are we prepared to sacrifice our lives, for that which is good and right? The question is beyond the comfort of Africana, are we going to roll up our sleeves, and meet the poor, the desperate and the oppress in Karamuja, the question is are we ready? And if we are ready we must do that which is good and right. A friend of mind once told me, an African is a very strange being and I agree. When you give an African the vote, which is an instrument of decision making, how does he use the vote? He waits for some thief to give him 50 shillings or salt, and then he votes in the direction pointed to him/her by that thief. Then he told me, when an African is given a vote, it’s like he is given a blank cheque, to go out into the car shop and buy for himself a Mercedes Benz, when he gets into the car shop, he buys moppet, when he gets home, he wants the moppet to behave like a Mercedes Benz. That is the tragedy of Africa, when we are given the opportunity to elect good men and women into public offices, we elect them on the basis of the debt and the size of their pockets, or on the basis of their ethnic extraction, and when they have occupied public offices, then we expect them to behave well, we are ask to elect a community to determine the fair rules of hunting and then we elect hyenas and we expect them to take care of the goats, that’s the tragedy of Africa. So we who are assemble here this morning, this is not an idle occasion, this is not an occasion where we come here to dramatize our anger which will then bitter away, this must not be an occasion when we come here to complain about the ills that we have observe, this is not an occasion when we come here to complain about the things which irritate us, this is not an occasion for sorrows and lamentation, this is an occasion that we have come to re-energize ourselves, this is an occasion where we have come to warn ourselves of the danger of corruption. This is an occasion fellow Africans, when we must ask ourselves, why is it that all civilization are ahead of us. I am a practicing Christian and as I grow I become more spiritual, and I read the book of Mathews, and I read the story in Mathews about a rich man, a business man, whom the bible records, one day he decided to go away when he was going away, he took five talents and gave it to one of his workers, and he took two talents and gave to another worker, and the bible goes on to say to one he gave only one talent and it said that he went away for a long time, and he came back. When he came back he went to the one whom he had given five talents, and he said master, I have work the five talents and I now have ten, and the master said, good work! And to the one that he had given two talents, he said, master, I have worked the two talents and now I have four, and he said, good work! And to the one that he had given one talent he said I knew you, you are in the business of ripping where you have not sown, and the master said if you knew I was such a man why didn’t you take it to those who are in the business of giving people interest so that I may earn my entitlement? And he then finishes; and to those who do not have, even the little that they have, it shall be taken away and it shall be given to those who have. If you look at Africa today, how is it that our minerals are taken away from us from DRC, our oil is taken away from us, our agricultural products are taken away from us, our forest are taken away from us, and they are given to those who have? If you look at us today, sitting in this assembly, if there was a miracle saying anything that is not produce in Africa, disappear, all of us will be naked, because the cloth that you wear, none of them is made in Uganda, because the ties that you wear, none of them is made in Uganda, even the underwear that you wear, not of it is made in Uganda. The question is are we children of a lesser God? No we are not, but we have allow ourselves to be corrupted in our morals and in our ways. Our leaders steal from us, and they keep money in Europe and America they can’t keep it in Africa. The question is for how long shall we allow this to happen? That is why I am very happy to join with you here today. On the occasion of remembering the launch of the BLACK MONDAY, why is Black Monday an important thing? It is an important thing because we must remind ourselves on the daily basis, or the holy books whether it is the Christian bible, or the Muslim Quran, or the Hindu Gita, they are unanimous in one thing, that corruption is a bad thing, they are unanimous in recognizing one thing, that if we want to liberate ourselves from the chains of suffering, we must do something about it, in Uganda, we say ‘’ Swahili spoken’’ if you want anything under the bed, you must bend. We want a good Uganda, that is free of corruption, and I look forward to that day, I look forward to the day, when my good friend Yoweri Museveni the president of Uganda shall seat at the hills of Nakasero and say with one accord, corruption where is they strength, corruption where is they strength? I look forward to the day, when the prime minster of Uganda, shall move over to Ngulu and speak over to the people of ngulu and saying corruption where is they power? I look forward to the day, when the ministers of Uganda, when my friend Ngimuwe and others shall seat and stand where ever they need to seat and stand and say corruption where is they strength? I look forward to the day when the members of parliament in Uganda, the director of election, the police men, the health workers in mulago, the hotel workers, the border boarder riders shall be able to say with one accord, that corruption is a bad thing, and they shall be able to say like the catholic say, to ask for forgiveness, saying’’ maukapa maukapa, maumaksiaupa’’ and those days will come but they will only come when you and me do that which is good and right and I have no doubt we are doing that which is good and right. As I conclude, , a number of things comes to my mind, I remember clearly mother Theresa of Calcutta, and I remember that lady said, when you walk into a dark room, and you find that there is darkness inside of the room, you don’t complain about the darkness, you take a candle and light the candle and ask your neighbors to light a candle and behold when all of us has lid the candle the room will be consume in light, today, I have no doubt in my mind that we have come here to light a candle, and it is that candle which is represented by the caravan, it is moving into the length and breadth of Uganda, and before the politicians and the thieves in Uganda realized, there will be so much light that there will be no place to hide in Uganda. I look forward to the day, when the words of the late Chinua Achebe written in his book ‘things fall apart’ ‘’and no longer at ease and a man of his people shall no longer be true, that the African is corrupt true and true. When Africa shall not be a winner in Olympic medals in the wrong things such as corruption index as prepared by transparency international. I look forward to the day, when our government ministers will have smaller stomachs, because they are now engage in anti-corruption activities, I look forward to the day, when we Ugandans, and east Africans, Kenyans, Tanzanians, Burundians, Rwandese, southern Sudanese, and all of us in Africa will be known for the right things, but let me tell you, having participated in the fight against corruption I know a number of things, I know that good laws in and of themselves will not fight corruption, because if it were just good laws, what is better than the ten commandments? so we must have something, we must have a change of heart, the Catholics who are in this room who are Benedict and Monks, must remember with me something when they say when want to become a monks in a Benedict order, we must have something which in Latin is called ‘conversionem ‘ a change of heart. A total change, a DNA transplant, a character transplant, so that our dominant instinct becomes the instinct to do that which is good and right. And I have no doubt it can be done, and that it will be done, because if it is not done we are done. Lady and gentlemen may God bless you all.
Typed by: Njomen Pride Nkwinja; Centra University of Applied Sciences Finland
please like and comment if you like any changes to be made. you can read more interesting things from my homepage. https://njomenpride.wordpress.com/author/juperters/.