KITUUKA, ARE YOU NOT WORRIED FOR YOUR SECURITY?
Recently, I visited a well placed friend in a Government office. On greeting me; he asked me whether I was no worried about my security given my communications. I told him that my role is to preach the ‘gospel’ of Good Governance to the people of Uganda. I know the risks but to me this is a calling. The calling started when I was sent on an Indefinite Suspension by my then employers: Nile Bank. At that time Hon. Kaijuka was Alternate Chairman of the Bank and Minister of Energy. The suspension and eventual dismissal was in connection to an illegally opened Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) Account in the bank where I happened to be both in charge of the Corporate Accounts and the Cash Department, but had not been involved in the sanctioning the opening of the illegal U.E.B Account. I only remember that one day, as I was on my desk, a gentleman by the name of Kakooza Ceaser came over, presented a cheque drawing cash from a UEB account which I had not known about as I had not been involved in its opening, but the account had been duly authorized by my seniors and it was now ‘lawfully’ incorporated in the bank books! The day when I got my suspension letter was like a normal day, shortly after arriving, I was called to Head office at Spear House given that I had been transferred a few months back to the then Uganda House branch as second in command. What I remember seeing is the then General Manager Mr Sekagya handing over a letter to me which he got from his safe. In the letter, there was no recognition of any good I had done for the bank, mind you, I was one of those Pioneer Staff, I had resigned in Uganda Commercial Bank to join Nile Bank at a time when the bank had no single customer and was involved in moving around to induce people to bank with Nile. I left without that months’ pay and the whole act was to leave the bank image clean as I was seen as the person who would testify and put in black and white what had been wrongly done by the bank. Out there, after leaving the bank and also receiving a letter terminating my services which was in contrast to the one of the indefinite suspension, I got more interested in issues of justice and hence the fight against injustice, later, I got training in Good Governance and I felt that it was best to come out and tell the people the truth about their rights and the roles of the leaders many of whom wish to keep the people enslaved and ignorant and passive players in governance issues.
Shortly after I was suspended in May 1991, the New Vision newspaper in a story: “Businessman faces 48m/= charge,” Didas Bakunzi reported as edited below: “A Kampala businessman appeared before the Kampala Magistrate’s court for stealing over shs 48m/-belonging to Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) through forgeries.
Before the Chief Magistrate Edward Bamwine was Caesar Kakooza (40) with over eight charges to answer. The charges included stealing 41,925,000 from the UEB account at Nile Bank, stealing another 4,657,754/- from the Bank of Uganda and stealing 2,101,798/- from the UEB account at Barclays Bank.
Kakooza however denied all the charges. Prosecution was led by Mr Mpanga Kakuba of the UEB legal department.
According to the charges, Caeser Kakooza obtained the monies by presenting documents purporting to have been signed by the Chairman of UEB and the Board Secretary. He is also said to have used UEB letterheads and identity card. He is said to have committed the crimes between September 1990 and February 1991.”
The above background officially ended my working career in the Banking Industry. This development made me develop more concern about other people and injustice in society, and it gave me opportunity to understand how justice is denied. I remember one time when I learnt that the case had been re – opened for hearing, after it had been closed as I earn that Kakooza did not have people as witnesses in court; and that the key witness, who I learnt from UEB was supposed to be myself was actually not kept in touch with the developments, that time round I happened to be in one of the court rooms at Mengo, and this is where the case was scheduled to be heard, I was only told later that the case had been adjourned from a different court room on the same court building!
What many Ugandans and members of the international community have to understand is that there is a lot that goes on in form of bad governance in Uganda, and some of us have had opportunity to be victims of such bad governance, and it is rational to act within one’s means to see that people are 1st of all aware of their rights, how they should participate in their governance and that those in authority are put to task to account for the resources at their disposal and specifically, in the case of Uganda, the removal of the term limits is real disaster for the country. If nothing is done to reverse this situation, it is most unfortunate. The country is completely off track because of a leadership which takes itself to know it all yet when it is simply sinking the country. All in all, the fear to address these matters is natural but we are all to die at some point in time, to me it is great if I don’t ignore what is going on in my country but come out open to say this and that is wrong and enough is enough about bad governance.