Uganda Forum Against Corrupt Entities

Fight corruption in your community

A love letter to the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Tibihaburwa Museveni

Dear Mr. President Yoweri Kaguta Tibihaburwa Museveni. You are the only president I have ever known and you have done many great things for this country. You are flawed just like any of us. I for one, I think that you are a great president because I know how difficult it must be to navigate the petty, greedy, selfish, short sighted and callous individuals that surround you. No wonder they are unable to make a decision without you. I hear that they are waiting for guidance from the president and similar excuses. Maybe you are the one micromanaging them but I suspect that the crooks around you are just empty shells with no minds of their own. Just parasites looking for a meal.
They should be presenting to you ideas and innovations to help your people but they have nothing useful to bring to your attention. I am sorry that you have to think of everything yet they are supposed to complement you. They are supposed to give you perspectives that are different from your own. There is nothing wrong with having a great idea that fails but the crooks around you are afraid of thinking. They are so scared of failure that they have stopped applying their faculties.

Mr. President, we come to this world, we live and we die. The only legacy we live are our children and the inheritance that we planned for them. I do not mean just money or mansions and legacies, Part of the legacy we leave is the society that our children inherit. The systems they find in place, the codes of conduct that we leave for them, the guidelines that we as parents set for them. Our children learn from us and are guided by our wisdom. Mr. President you have done a great job in difficult circumstance. I am positive that neither Kiiza nor Bobi could have done any better.

I watched with saddens recently when some thugs around you tortured and beat up Ugandans in Arua and in safe houses. During war we may compromise our humanity to save lives but Mr. President this is not war. Yes, those children erred in throwing stones at your motorcaded because there are better ways of expressing dissent, but whichever thug executed the torture on silly children had people like me who admire the good things you have done for the country thinking of alternatives. Mr. President, all they did was make Bobi seem like a martyr. I for one, I am not convinced of his platform. He has not told Ugandans, how he will get rid of the thugs currently in your administration, how he will reverse the corruption that you have failed to fight. How he will fix the courts that are on life support, how he will create jobs that you have failed to create and how he will repatriate all the wealth that your thugs have stolen.

“Dear Government… I’m going to have a serious talk with you if I ever find anyone to talk to.”

― Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire

Mr. President, your wealth creation programs and NAADS are a den of thieves and crooks. The tea and seedlings your thugs paid for were never delivered, it was all just a scum. Mr. President, your Treasury Department is a den of thieves, robing the country blind. Mr. President, your Attorney General Department is rotten to the core. Obviously corruption is so institutionalized in Uganda and it’s your biggest failing, followed by unemployment. I am willing to forgive the term limits and age limits saga if only you can fight corruption and create jobs for Ugandans. Mr. President in 2021 you got a fifth or seventh term as president of Uganda. I would have voted for you if you had not made it unduly difficult to vote. In this new term there are a few things that I would like you commit yourself to do. If you do these few things, I do not mind giving you one last term in 2026 if you still have the energy.

First of all, please prepare the country for your succession. You are an intelligent man, you must realize that you cannot be president for ever. We want a peaceful transition of power to another leader. Hopefully a great leader like you. I am willing to even support the Muhoozi Project given the right incentives. General Muhoozi unfortunately has not shown any kind of promise however much you may wish that he succeeds you. I would have expected him to have made his mark outside the shadows of daddy. He is not an ordinary man, he has benefited from your patronage but we want him to show us that he can be his own man, that he has thoughts of his own, that he can innovate and govern. Even Mama Janet has at least shown some potential, let him run an institution, streamline it and create positive change. I may not have the chance to build something but he does. Why is he holding onto your petti strings? You might have to groom another person. He may push around your generals and men in uniform but we do not follow orders. Mr. President and as more of us realize our place in the world, even guns will not scare us. Mr. President please do not groom one of those crooks around you. Most especially, not Hon Kadaga, or any one of those MPs who keep asking you for bribes from the very money that they themselves appropriated to you. Please do not be pressured to get a person from south western Uganda to succeed you.. Try some one from the East or central or north. Someone who loves their country. If you must go for a person from western Uganda, go for a mutooro or munyooro. However, I can be convinced to buy into the Muhoozi Project if you handle it correctly.

Secondly put back the safe guards that you had put in the 1995 Constitution, reinstate the term limit and this time include a provision that a resolution to call a referendum to remove it, must be approved by seventy five percent of the MPs including more than half of the opposition MPs. After all, Mr. President, they do represent fellow Ugandans.

Thirdly, set up an independent commission, chosen by civil society to set salaries and wages of Members of Parliament and state agencies. We are tired of the thugs in parliament and your head of institutions. Mr. President none of your Managing Directors (maybe except for the New Vision) or permanent secretaries deserves the extravagant pay checks you dish out. The youth can do those jobs for a quarter of what you pay those thugs and believe me, Mr. President, we would do an excellent job. So one hundred CEOs, MDs & Permanent Secretaries, can pay 400 competent and patriotic youth. We want representatives who join Parliament to serve their constituents. That extravagant money that they receive is beyond market rates and attracts crooks. The youth can do this work more efficiently and patriotically at a quarter of that salary. Therefore each salary that you pay to your thugs in Parliament can pay seven, more competent and patriotic youth. Consequently, the wages and allowances of parliament can employ 3,220 youth.

Fourthly, Mr. President in just four seconds, I have created 3,620 jobs with the resources we already have. Imagine if you put in place a Job Creation Fund and commit twenty five percent of the national budget to it. Mr. President as you are aware more than seventy percent of the youth are unemployed or under employed. We want to create local industries, create Ugandan owed businesses and reform the education and training of the youth. This fund can be funded by a minimum corporate tax. Mr. President, Do you know that many corporations in Uganda, use loopholes in the tax law to pay zero or lower corporate taxes so why not introduce a compulsory minimum corporate tax paid by every corporation on top of the existing taxes. The tax can range from UGX 100,000 per month for corporations and partnerships making revenue of less than 10,000,000 per year or 1% for those making revenue of more than UGX 10,000,000 per year. Part of the fund can be funded by responsible borrowing and co funded by workers under NSSF. Furthermore, let us get rid of state pension and create a system funded by both the employee and employer akin to NSSF for future state employees. The current model is unstainable.

Fifthly, change the anti-corruption laws, reform and strengthen the IG. Your state house anti-corruption office is not the answer to corruption in Uganda. Not only does it lack a proper legal framework but it also does not operate in a transparent manner. The IG maybe many things but it operates in a clear legal framework, investigates transparently, treats public officers with respect and respects their constitutional rights. We should not become monsters in the name of fighting corruption, we should retain our respect for constitutional rights and the rule of law. I know that sometimes a firm hand is necessary against your politically connected crooks and some undisciplined army officers but we can be firm within the legal framework in place without crossing the lines. Our development partners are never going to fully accept your state house anti-corruption taskforce. Many of us are uncomfortable with its modus operandi. Mr. President we want deterrent sentence for thieves, most especially the death penalty. It should be prescribed for all corruption offenses and be deferred only in special circumstances. The minimum Sentence for corruption offenses should 30 years and the sentences should be served consecutively as opposed to concurrently as a matter of law. You will see how corruption cases will plummet. The thieves around you will fight this but it is the only way to go because corruption is so entrenched in our society. We also want you to insulate the IGGs from political considerations by limiting them to two automatic terms and barring them from public service for five years after serving in the IG. To confirm a death sentence for a person alleging he or she is being politically targeted, civil society organization should choose a special panel of justices to hear the final appeal not on the appropriateness of the sentence but on guilt of the accused. This is a safe guard against the risk of targeting opponents using trumped up corruption charges.

Sixthly, introduce a corruption adjustment tax on wealth starting from assets exceeding UGX 1.5 Bn payable by all Ugandans but exempt foreign corporations that can prove remittance of capital from states known to have strong anti-money laundering laws. The exemption for foreign corporations should exclude those that have executed government contracts or been involved in executing government contracts. The assessment of value of the assets should be standardized by UBOS and other models developed by civil society organizations such that there should be a price index similar to that used by URA for taxing motor vehicles. For example a standard price index can provide that building one square foot in Kololo costs USD 10,000 or that a square foot of land in Bugolobi costs USD 10,000. The tax can be as follows:
Assets whose value exceeds UGX 1.5 Bn but is less than 2.5 bn 10%. Assets whose value exceeds 2.5 Bn but is less than 4bn 40 %
Assets whose value exceeds 4bn but is less than 10 bn 60%
Assets whose value exceeds 10bn 80%
Mr. President we can create an exemption for persons whose assets exceed 10bn but who can prove that they toiled for their assets without stealing state funds to pay a lower tax of 40% other than 80% but the thieves are likely to take advantage of this. If we adopt this, the tax payer must prove through banking documents and tax returns that they got their capital through legitimate activities not the excuses of farming income, business or other common fraudulent excuses given by crooks. If you have been dodging state taxes you are actually corrupt and therefore, if you obtained your assets legitimately, provide the tax returns and banking documents.

Mr. President, your courts are a big unmitigated disaster not because they are impartial when it comes to wrongs done by your administration but the due to the corruption and delays they have failed to get eliminate. Some positive charges have been made but lawyers are always coming up with delaying tactics when they know they have bad claims. Delaying tactics allows them to intimidate your poor people or use your corrupt goons to forcefully take the property of vulnerable people. Actually, Mr. President many Ugandans would rather give up legitimate claims than get stuck in your judiciary. Did you know that a case in your judiciary can be adjourned fifty times consecutively and be attached to five judicial officers in that period? Anyway Mr. President we understand that we are a poor country and we may not be able to afford the number of judicial officers that are need for an efficient judicial system.

Mr. President the change we need as a country can be effected by you thus rendering the need for an alternative moot. Neither more oppression and corruption nor opposition parties are the answer for Uganda. You can implement everything the youth want and create a strong foundation for the future. You just have to get rid of the crooks and thieves around you.

This story doesn’t represent the views of Uganda Forum Against Corrupt Entities and is not authored by its staff.

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