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Politics

Death threats on State Minister Anite and the Museveni-engineered mafia

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By Moses Ssejjoba

In any failing government with a semblance of legitimacy, death threats against a cabinet minister would ruffle feathers. It even becomes worse when the minister pinpoints the same government in which they serve to be the source of those death threats.

However, this does not make news any more in Uganda, where such threats have not remained just threats, but have been executed. Yet life has just gone on. Scores of senior government officials have been executed; some of them in broad daylight and nothing has been done to reassure the population.

Many of these victims have beforehand known what was coming for them, and some dared to speak out but still they were executed. Some targets of the now well-known ‘Mafia’ within government have lived to see another day. That is after they came out to state that their lives are threatened by powerful people within the NRM government of President Museveni.

Take the example of Gilbert Bukenya, the then Vice President of Uganda, who in 2005 came out to say that the mafia was after his life. He said that there was an elaborate plan from a “high up” in government who was out to kill him. It does not take a genius to establish which person is ‘higher up’ from a sitting vice president.

Bukenya was probably saved by the international furore his revelations rattled, because of his position in government. Others have not been so lucky. High profile people have died and nothing has been done to investigate their deaths. The latest person scared for her life is Evelyn Anite, the State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privatization. She has been embroiled in a multi-million dollar controversy involving the mismanagement of the defunct Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL).

The public company has for some time been embroiled in controversies and has been under liquidation for years. Anite, who like others before her was once a darling of Museveni, found herself on the wrong side of the junta when she tried to do what she felt her portfolio dictated.

She called for an audit into the firm that has lost tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars of the taxpayer’s money to gross mismanagement. It was not long before her colleagues in cabinet, including her senior, picked interest, warning her off UTL. It did not take long before the all-powerful Keith Muhakanizi, known as the man that has his hands on Museveni’s purse strings, ordered Anite off.

Never mind that by virtue of his position as the Permanent Secretary in the same Ministry Anite serves, he is by hierarchy supposed to subordinate to her. However such protocols do not exist in Museveni’s playbook, he will look on as a junior staff tears down their senior in public and will instead reprimand the so-called senior.

It even gets more interesting when it comes to Muhakanizi because he has had a hand in almost all big money frauds in this country and has gotten away with it. Just this month, Muhakanizi single-handedly stopped a team of cabinet ministers and members of parliament who had been to Lubowa to inspect works on a hospital in which over a trillion shillings in taxpayer funds has been poured.

The hospital which was funded to the tune of 1.4 trillion shillings (USD 375 million) was already dead before the foundation stone was laid. The money given to the investor to build the hospital on direct orders of Museveni has since disappeared in thin air! Details of this Museveni scam of a white elephant (Lubowa Hospital) are subject for another article.

Museveni, again through Muhakanizi, made sure that the mandated organs did not get anywhere near interfering in his loot. And he got his way, as he always does.

So when Anite, like Idah Nantaba – another once adored girl of Museveni – a few months back, now finds herself between a rock and a hard place. The only reason is that she interfered in Museveni’s scheme and for that she must pay, hence the threat to her life that she laid bare this Monday.

By now, everyone knows whenever the word Mafia is mentioned it is Museveni and his close cabal of criminals.

Anite must be taken seriously when she says they want to kill her.

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