Thursday, 6 October 2011

Why the IGG is rattling Kutesa and Nasasira: Dont be carried away

The buzz is on. The IGG has summoned Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa, Chief Whip John Nasasira and Labour minister Rukutana Mwesigwa to answer charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss to the government.The D-day is October 13.
And now the speculation is on high. Is it President Museveni now cracking down on corruption?
Is it the succession struggle in NRM now becoming manifest?  Is it about getting some big people from the West especially those close to Museveni to be charged so that the incarceration of the former naive or sometimes excitable VIce President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya does not raise suspicion?
Or is the IGG Raphael Baku is now truly doing a job for country?
First, I doubt that its about Museveni cracking hard on corruption as some of his lieutenants would like us to believe.
Here is why. For Museveni to tackle corruption, he does not need a head-on approach with the suspects because if he did so, the buck will end up with him. And he knows it.
It cant be that Kutesa, Nasasira, Gen. Otafiire, Rukutana, Jim Muhwezi etc are corrupt but the President is clean.
All Museveni or anyone who cares about fighting corruption needs to do is to realise how the vice has permeated through all layers of our country and that the corrupt are not just thieves but they are equally powerful and able to cause political consequences to anyone who dares tackle it anyhow.
The best would be to declare an amnesty to all the corrupt and then start on a clean slate.
This would also insulate the President who is rumoured to own hotels and other property here and abroad.
On the question of NRM succession, it possible that the charging of Kutesa and Nasasira could be linked. First, the flamboyant Prime MInister Amama Mbabazi is the usual suspect because the country has come to take note of his possesion of huge appetite for power. He is seen as a guy who masquarades as a statesman during day but enters dubious deals at night.
And of course, the real bush war heroes have a low regard of the PM partly because of the way he carrries himself [he is a vindictive fellow] and also because of his strong attachment to hypocrisy.
It is said that Mbabazi has been trying to smear anyone in NRM whom he perceives as a potential threat to his interest in the Presidency. In that regard, the charging of Kutesa and Nasasira [ they are known Museveni loyalists, rich and silent political mobilisers] could be linked to it. The two, more than Mbabazi, are capable of determining the political direction of this country especially through NRM politics. Sometimes, Mbabazi is said to have even tried to plant negative stories in the media about Salim Saleh and Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba. For starters, Mbabazi has a well developed and paid network of journalists and media managers who do his bidding.
To make matters worse, Mbabazi seems to have his way because President Museveni is increasingly tired [ he doesnt admit though] of running the state, therefore; either by commission or ommission, he has trusted Mbabazi to influence the running of state matters. Its this leeway that the PM is reportedly using to build his personal influence even at the expense of the big man. Mbabazi is good at work and its this spirit that Museveni adores in him.
However, away from Mbabazi a conspiracy theory is that Kutesa and Nasasira were charged because Buganda was getting jittery over Bukenya. But unless Mbabazi is that naive, he would not celebrate seeing the duo in the dock over Chogm yet he was a culprit. The duo was exonerated with him, so why would he then want them tried on a different filmsy charge? Well, Nigerians say in their movies that: Wonders never end.

Baku the man

It's increasingly plausible that Kutesa and Nasasira are victims of the IGG Rapheal Baku's personal scheme. He is faulted over selective prosecution by leaving out Mbabazi whom he once served as an aide. Many now believe Baku is Mbabazi's attack dog athough those who have had a chance to hear him lament, say the IGG is angered by this connection to Mbabazi. They say the man laments that when he served Mbabazi, he was often mistreated.
So why is he eager to prosecute Kutesa, Nasasira and Rukutana? Some accounts say that Baku is foreseeing unemployement. He is leading the inspectorate of government in an adhoc capacity since  the sometimes "possesed" Justice Faith Mwondha was kick-out.
Baku's anticipation was that he would be elevated as the boss since afterall, he is Mbabazi's man. However, its now nearly three years and Baku is only acting IGG.
Apparently, President Museveni was hesitant to confirm Baku after he received several reports on how the man runs the institution. About two month ago, a dossier was sent to Museveni detailing how Baku was suffocating investigations and how the man was running the inspectorate like a starved hyena.  Matters were not helped by the fact that Baku takes executive decisions alone since non deputises him. All the deals end up in his office.
Baku became so petty. Intrique defines the institution.  Sources say two senior officers in the IGG started lobbying to take over from Baku who, clearly, is no better administrator.
Some of these officers who include among others James Penywii [ head of operations and David Makumbi [director Ombusdman affairs] were reportedly being seen as potential successors to Baku having risen from within the ranks unlike Baku was deposited there as a political reward.
But Baku is no fool. Sources say having seen that his chances of retaining the office were diminishing, he went for plan B: To make it hard for Museveni not to confirm him as the substantive IGG.
The only way was by extending the corruption fight to his door step. Kutesa is a brother-in-law to Museveni and Nasasira, and Rukutana are too close to the First Family.
Aware that the public is angry with the First Family over money-related issues, Baku could have gotten a perferct trick; show the public and donors that he can take on even the mighty.
So when Museveni is presented with an issue of appointing a substantive IGG, it would be politically difficult to ignore Baku. The man from West NIle will have defeated internal office troubles [ job insecurity] by using Kutesa, Nasasira and Rukutana who are known to be Museveni's close allies and strategists.
Museveni will have to summon his bush war mentality to sack Baku when the man is prosecuting those close to him. And the usually gullible Ugandan public and the sometimes cagy donor community would wonder why Museveni sacks Baku when the man is "seriously fighting corruption." That is called getting job secutity by hook or crook.
Baku had been under pressure from the donor community and the local civil society activists who wanted to see evidence of the fight against corruption by the Inspectorate but his loyalty was with the regime. Its only after seeing that the regime was likely to ignore him like many others, that Baku chose to lean on the new world order of accountability and transparency championed by the donors and civil society.
Its just increasing getting difficult to do naughty things and go away with it as it was in the past. But at least, Mr Baku will have managed to be naughty and get applause for it, if finally Museveni confirms him or the donors land him an international job after he is sacked.
Its no party yet for him because trying Kutesa and Nasasira while leaving out Mbabazi could be the final nail on his wooden coffin. The public will then want to see him put the Prime Minister in the dock as well.  We will also want to see him prosecute the First Lady Janet Museveni for her alleged role in the Gavi Funds.  Now you can see where this Baku man is headed. But we just can never know.

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