Lokodo puts his foot in his mouth yet again.

The East African - - OPINION -

If the pres­i­dent of Uganda ever calls you to of­fer you the job of Min­is­ter for Ethics and In­tegrity, think twice be­fore you ac­cept. For its pre­vi­ous hold­ers and the cur­rent one are dis­ap­pointed peo­ple whose ef­forts are nei­ther backed nor ap­pre­ci­ated by so­ci­ety.

Start­ing with the lat­est or the cur­rent of­fice holder, the honourable Si­mon Lokodo. If a dig­ni­tary has been dis­re­spected, it is poor Lokodo. Last week, he tried to stop a mu­sic fes­ti­val which he swears he had con­crete in­tel was in­tended to be a four-day sex party. He said the most de­spi­ca­ble things in­clud­ing bes­tial­ity were rou­tine at the fes­ti­val. When Lokodo failed to block the fes­ti­val, he in­formed the press that “Satan has won.”

Poor Lokodo has been pub­licly hu­mil­i­ated be­fore. A cou­ple of years back, a young Nige­rian man launched Uganda’s era of leak­ing nude pic­tures on so­cial me­dia. He nude pho­tos of his Ugan­dan girl­friend and pub­lished them. The Nige­rian, who had an English name and a Ugan­dan passport un­der a local name, left Kam­pala in a hurry when Lokodo started look­ing for him. Once safely out­side, the fugi­tive recorded and cir­cu­lated ver­bal in­sults against the min­is­ter, throw­ing in a Lu­ganda word “tomanyi­ira,” which is a con­temp­tu­ous warn­ing to lowly fel­lows to back off. In his cru­sade against pornog­ra­phy, Lokodo last year an­nounced that he had ac­quired an anti-porn ma­chine that would de­tect those view­ing lurid stuff for po­lice to pounce on them. What­ever his in­ten­tion, Lokodo be­came the butt of jokes with his ma­chine that no­body be­lieved ex­isted. Then an anti-porn com­mis­sion was launched and they tried to back Lokodo. They named a few cy­ber nudists who were go­ing to be ar­rested but well, noth­ing hap­pened. An all­round limp ef­fort then.

Be­fore Si­mon Lokodo, the min­is­ter for ethics and in­tegrity was Dr Ns­aba Bu­turo. He spent his time cru­sad­ing against nu­dity, witch­craft, cor­rup­tion and kept telling col­leagues that if you live in a house built us­ing stolen money you can­not have peace. When he was found to be among nine min­is­ters who had switched par­ties and so were li­able to lose their par­lia­men­tary seats, he re­signed. Few peo­ple re­mem­ber that Bu­turo even re­signed from pub­lic of­fice in dig­nity. Many here see him as a loser.

Be­fore Ns­aba Bu­turo there was Miria Matembe, now a cru­sader for good gov­er­nance and never tires of telling the pub­lic how dis­ap­pointed she is with her for­mer boss. An ide­al­ist who some even de­scribe as naïve or in­no­cent, she once un­suc­cess­fully tried to table a list of MPS who were hav­ing ir­reg­u­lar ro­man­tic re­la­tions.

An­other ethics and in­tegrity min­is­ter was Tim Lwanga, who crit­i­cised a Ugan­dan man who had sex on live TV dur­ing the Big Brother show in South Africa and on re­turn­ing home caused the long­est traf­fic jam ever seen be­tween En­tebbe Air­port and Kam­pala as masses came out to wel­come the new hero for his sex­ual ex­ploits.

Af­ter Lwanga had his say de­nounc­ing the whole thing, his boss the pres­i­dent who was camped in east­ern Uganda sent a he­li­copter to pick up the sexy young man from Kam­pala and air­lift him east where he con­grat­u­lated him for rep­re­sent­ing Uganda on Big Brother.

Such is the thank­less job of a min­is­ter for ethics and in­tegrity in Uganda.

Il­lus­tra­tion :John Nyaga

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