Madness! Madness! All around. It is a most beautiful sunrise in Kampala this morning after a downpour last night. It rained slowly and long. We used to say in my village that it was the rain caressing and raising seeds in the womb of the earth. So when I turned on the computer well. There was conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh calling the Lord’s Resistance Army boss Joseph Kony a good Christian who Barack Hussein Obama was out to kill with US taxpayer’s money I suppose. My better half told me it showed how blind or blinding “ideology” could be. That puts Rush and Kony in the same pool in fact. He has been steadfast in believing whatever he does makes perfect sense. So Mr. Limbaugh pays him a compliment by dwelling in his kind of faithfulness.
Last night I had also heard that my “Ssabalwanyi” or he who is the master of fighters and fighting “ President Yoweri Museveni had called a presser later for today. It is the second in just days. Am not sure what the media meet is about. It could be perhaps because ministers in his government including his brother-in-law Hon. Sam Kutesa have stepped aside over allegations of bribe taking. I met SK as we call him yesterday at KFM where I have a weekly show as he explained himself. When I started practicing journalism SK was nicknamed Mr. Ten Percent. He was then a State Minister of Finance.
Now as a sort of Foreign Minister on leave he must have watched the arrival of these “Christian killers” that Rush Limbaugh was raving about from the sidelines (incidentally Uganda was on the Security Council under the watch of SK – spoiling for a greater regional peace under the African Union and the United Nations, let alone shouldering much of the military burdens against Al Shabaab the Muslim fundamentalists in Somalia who Mr. Limbaugh may want to award a medal of honor next).
You see soon after the political mob was accusing him of stealing from children and such, the father of his daughter’s wife, our President, faced off with journalists high on a week of news mist, and defended the government in the strongest language possible.
For one he called an idiot a company man who , working for an Irish based oil company , had told the local US ambassador that he Yoweri Museveni Ssabalawnyi had taken bribes. For those who do not know. Hear it now. And pass it on to Mr. Limbaugh too while you are at it ( hush… preach on preacher!!!).
In Uganda there are two kinds of corruption. Official corruption is not really criminal if it pursues the politics of the ruling party. Many party members have admitted to taking public money to do political work as a defense in fact. It’s the type of corruption that is for personal aggrandizement, buying cars, new wives and perfumes that the political center fumes on. So corruption trials are of two types as well. The trial of political rivals who have taken from the common jar for their own needs. To that Kutesa yesterday said he was not building a war chest to run for President. And then the trial of lesser officials for actually breaking the law.
Of course it is irritating that grand corruption with such grand characters like Hon. Kutesa gets all the attention when systemic corruption at a personal and local level really takes the cake.
So anyway, back to the presser. It must have been interesting then to see Uganda dominate the headlines with President Barack Obaaama making a meal out of it in an announcement of US Special Forces on the ground (including on Mr. Limbaugh’s show and the US Presidential race) just after the hush words of the previous days. Lets wait for the day’s events.
Africa is usually misunderstood. Indeed when foreigners claim they get it is usually a sign of bad news. But it’s the world we leave in. I would therefore argue that it that it helps when we have regular press conferences and radical talk show hosts to keep explaining complex stuff to us.