Friends, being a Member of Parliament in Uganda is good business.
All you need to do is buy your way into the August House with a few sachets of salt, pieces of soap, some sugar and pledges to your local church. Make sure that you have your academic papers right because when your opponent discovers that your qualifications are found wanting, this is one reason you will be kicked out.
In this job, you will be paid huge amounts of money every month regardless of whether you attend sessions or your are in your farm tending to your cattle, you will travel abroad with fine Per Diem, you can keep quiet in parliamentary sessions , play solitaire on your iPad or take a good afternoon nap – relax no one will hold you accountable.
Another key benefit that comes with this trade is that it helps shoot your esteem a little high with villagers running after your car shouting “honorable, honorable ”even when you know that when the curtains are drawn, what you do in the dark is far from honorable.
The chants will leave you yearning for more.
Power like wine is sweet to the tongue so the throat can’t stop asking for one more for the road.
So one more term it is, but your constituents can barely see the fruit of your five years. Like any other addict, you will borrow more money to get one more for the road.
Indebtedness crawls in, even when the generous president clears your debts, you cut sessions to look for more money – consequently, when important bills are being tabled in parliament you are no where to be seen as others decide the future of your country in your absentia.
At this point you ought to be careful lest you degenerate into a leech.
“The leech has two daughters. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry” more salary, bigger cars, more allowances, iPads and cannot even put its hand away when the bribe for passing ridiculous laws crosses its path. After the leech has sucked all the blood, chances that the victim will suffer from anemia are inevitable.
The signs of the anemia are manifest in the sick health care system, the illiterate education system, and the sorry public infrastructure.
When you come to the end of the road, what marks will your legacy trail bear? what will your score on the likert scale be? What memory of you will be engraved in the halls of fame?
Or will you beat your chest three times in prayer, I am a sinner, I am a sinner, I am a sinner indeed. A sinner that asked for an I-pad I didn’t want to use when children were using the floor in the country as their exercise book? A sinner that watched on as pregnant women died in dilapidated health centers as I asked for more salary, a sinner that went abroad several times and learnt nothing?