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US Travel ban affects the corrupt only

Ikebesi Omoding

US Travel ban affects the corrupt only

The US announcement, banning identified corrupt NRM officials from traveling to that country has the unfortunate linkage to homosexuality.


Two developments in the last week shook the NRM regime: One was the one where a couple of yellow-painted pigs were ferreted into the Parliamentary Buildings, apparently taking the lethargic officials by surprise; the other, the announcement by the US State Department of a travel ban to a specified number of NRM officials to the United States for their being thieves. Both of these events were directed at the regime for corruption but with differing, and in some cases, contrasting applications.

The symbol of the pigs was brilliant and apt. For one, the anagram of MPs – Members of Parliament – transferred to MPigs, was a reference to the lack of public commitment most of our so-called honourable members pay to their constituents. As much as pork is a delicacy, before the pigs are slaughtered, they are normally associated with dirt, sloth and also with ravenousness and inordinate eating habits. This is applicable to the manner with which the NRM regime has taken this country – unbridled corruption. Never mind the talk of “fighting” corruption. Indeed, this talk is probably meant to fuel it.

For another, by having painted the pigs in the NRM party colour of yellow, it underlined the pillage of the public funds that this regime’s principals and their associates are condemned for. It is a pity that for the Muslim community, who abhor the eating of pork as a religious rite, their MPigs, particularly those in the NRM, also come under sanction.  The reaction of the NRM on this score has been confused; and anyway what can they do about this reference to their lack of commitment: they are on a one-way path to political decadence.

The US announcement, banning identified corrupt NRM officials from traveling to that country has the unfortunate linkage to homosexuality. That the US government takes the practice of some of its citizens and ties this bestiality to the issue of human rights underscores the difference there are in the observance of some cultures from others. To ignore this fact and attribute all this to “enjoyment” of human rights is idle.

It is even more surprising that a country that has as its banner dictum: “In God We Trust”, to propagate, and what is worse, try to export it to other countries, of what the Bible refers to as, “disgusting”, is giving the citizens of this country the resolve that, it would be better not to accept the donations tied to such disgusting purse strings. That has been very evident in the churches and places of worship; and Uganda should not apologize for this stance.

The passing of the Anti-homosexual law was merely a re-stating of the position that even the colonial laws had already observed. It is now incumbent upon the organs of justice to assiduously implement this law.

The problem of the US attaching its travel ban to sodomy, and then to corruption, is also disturbing. It would mean that if, and God forbid, the law was overturned and homosexuality accepted as a “human right” then the US would resume its donation. This means that it would then ignore the other aspects of the theft of public funds that this NRM regime is infamous for, in what it considers its “strategic” interests.  Clearly, the US is using its financial might to subvert the cultural values that are the very core of the Africans’ existence. This cannot do; hence it is important that the country now goes on a level of bilateral relations that does not compromise its core principles.

That means that the country has to follow the path of its own financial independence; and it means that at the top of this quest would be the urgency for good governance that would rid us of the shackles of reliance on foreign aid. This country has the means to do this.

Even without the discovery of oil, an appropriate and judicious development of agriculture and its human resource would have seen this country on a proper and right path to economic development and proficiency, far removed from the begging bowls of up to 52% of its budgetary requirements, that this NRM regime has consigned this country into.

The problem of taking these donations is that most of the money is stolen anyway. It does not matter whether these donor countries tie these gifts to the supervision of their own international non-governmental organizations, or not. The principals of this regime have crafted methods through which, in whatever way the donations come, they are able to lay their pilfering fingers on the money.  It is interesting that the US came to notice that, even the money they sent to the Uganda Medical Stores, under what they termed their own Presidential Initiative, was stolen.



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Ikebesi Omoding is the acclaimed author of a weekly column titled: From the Outside Looking In

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