JUNE 7, 2010: Will Ministers Face Court Martial Or NRM Caucus?

Will Ministers Face Court Martial Or NRM Caucus?
SOURCE: The Monitor
By Christine Abia Bako

Mr President, I listened to you very attentively as you delivered the rather lengthy State of the Nation Address. I remember correctly, the first five front benchers on your right were mainly sleeping except Hon.

Amama Mbabazi who was vigilantly awake, may be for security reasons! Mr President, should you still be the one to deliver the next State of the Nation Address, then the architects of your speech need to shape the art, language and content of a presidential address.

A State of the Nation Address is a political reassurance to a nation on the health of the state in all fronts and so should be crafted in such a way as to spell hope and trust in a leadership.

Mr President, when you called for trial of the corrupt in the court martial, in the presence of the Chief Justice of Uganda, I froze a bit. Why, not so long ago, did your government establish a fully fledged anti-corruption court? Seconds later, I realised that you and I have a common belief, we just don't trust the judiciary - despite the fact that you appointed them. But the fact that once a rebel, never a democrat consoled me perfectly although I 'trust' your democratic instincts.

But Mr President, where and with whom do we start? Is it true that you defended Mbabazi in NRM caucus, that he did no wrong during the NSSF scandal? In case any of your ministers are, in future, implicated in scandals, what shall we choose, NRM caucus or NRM court martial? Who goes to the court martial first on the line-up of the corrupt? Mzee, there are several high profile people accused of mismanaging Chogm resources ranging from the Vice President, to your key ministers and those close to you.

Will you, Mr Commander in Chief, appear as a genuine witness at the court martial or as a relative and friend to offer sympathy and support! Some of those implicated accused you of ordering some of the transactions, Mzee, is it true? Now that you and I don't trust 'our' judiciary, let me advise you on how to proceed.

Scenario one: in court, Vice President, here you are a witness. Scenario two: all ministers accused, here you are either a genuine witness or a relative depending on who is in the dock. Mzee, remember you have to ensure that judges at the court martial have a repute to trust and invest in, otherwise things like calling a criminal a saint don't interact well with my conscience.

Oh, before I forget, shall we also take the case of the disappearance of our Chogm trees, grass and flowers that were 'eaten' by lucky bulls in Kampala and Mubende NAADS goats to the court martial? No! Mr President, I think we shall have to find other venues for their trial. By the way, when are we starting? I await your call, Sir.

Finally, Mr President, sing with me from Eric Blair's Animal Farm the Clementine tune in chapter one, verse four, page 7, (Full text edition) " Riches more than mind can picture, Wheat and Barley, oats and hay, Clover, beans and mangel-wurzels, Shall be ours upon that day!"

Hope the trials will start soon, Mr President.

Ms Abia Bako is the Woman MP, Arua District and shadow minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries