I always used to look forward to watching Scooby Doo cartoons in a bid to see strange things happening. However, lately, Uganda is not short of strange happenings and as a result, I nolonger need Scooby Doo. It has gotten so bad that the strange things are now considered normal.
We once had Ghost soldiers littering our army payroll, this was followed by Ghost UPE students, then Ghost investors who apparently were meant to put up serious investments on the Shimoni land and Naguru Estate only for them to be parceled out in plots (makes one question the composition of grey matter in the brains of the decision makers), Ghost road contractors (remember EUTAW?), Ghost owners of Crane bank, Ghost buyers of Kinyara Sugar Works and many more to come. Like the Baganda say, katandika butandisi (it’s just beginning).
With an abundance of shamelessness, the movie actors in this Ugawood movie of Ghosts go about their business knowing that they are afterall untouchable. It has resulted into many rightful thinking people opting to join this vitriol filled bandwagon of economic pirates incorrectly labelled as tycoons that cannot let anything with the slightest monetary value slip past them.
When I woke up to the news about Moses Lubwama the Ghost worker at the Parliament of Uganda, I was initially inclined to join the crusaders baying for his blood. However, after reading the story, my position changed to one of admiration.
Why am I impressed by Lubwama?
He went out of his way to create a job for himself. Many of us are sitting on our laurels waiting for someone else to come up with a job and then make applications. This guy realised that Parliamentarians needed a lot of help and he had the ability to help them out. He then decided to avail himself and bingo! For over ten years, he’s been working diligently for the institution.
No where in the article has he been branded a thief. This implies that he is an honest Ugandan who wanted to be gainfully employed. For someone of his age to settle for allowances speaks volumes about the frustrations he might have faced over the years when it comes to getting jobs. Unlike the pompous thieves cum business tycoons littering our streets after benefitting from numerous ghostly activities, Lubwama has used his ghostly activity rightfully.
He is a diligent hard worker. Lubwama was described by Parliamentary workers (the non ghosts) as “an active and amiable person who often stood ready to help with any assignment when not engaged with a committee.” How many officially employed personnel can get such ratings from their colleagues? You reading this, are you sure your friends in office would say the same about you? For a Ghost of Lubwama’s calibre to have such a rating speaks volumes about his personality and intent to be of service.
Mr Lubwama has probably raised a family over these years on mere Parliamentary allowances and tips from legislators. His kids have gone to school, he’s probably built a house and maybe even set up a small business for his wife. Really, would you be the first to cast a stone at this Ghost? Maybe as a highly sought after professional you do not understand what I am talking about here. I just want you to know that there are people whose ability to survive hinges on those little opportunities that you normally do not even give a thought about.
Getting a job at parliament. Let us rewind the clock, ten years ago. If Mr Lubwama had applied for a job at the Parliament, would he have got it without any undue influence? It is an open secret that Government jobs require alot of influence peddling. Lubwama might not have been privileged enough to know someone that knows someone high enough to land him a job there but he opted to use his ingenuity, what Tamale Mirundi refers to as Logic (pronounced as Logiki).
My prayer therefore is that those investigating him do expedite their work and if he is found not to have any subversive tendencies, then offer him an opportunity of a lifetime.
Lubwama is a good Ghost, one I can take a cup of tea with and not feel guilty about it. If I had to make a choice between Lubwama and the outrageously pompous tycoons relying on ghosts to rob this nation, I would take the former any day.
Over to you Madam Speaker.
James Wire is a Small Business and Technology Consultant based in Kampala, Uganda
Follow @wirejames on Twitter.
Email lunghabo [at] gmail [dot] com