An insider who worked at the East African legislative assembly Secretariat narrated to me this touching story. She was almost shedding tears, thinking about how our society has gone to the dogs!
Whenever Member of Parliament have sessions they always have about 10 consecutive days of Parliament sittings. Many times as is the trend in Africa, many MPs do not attend sessions unless there is a controversial issue to talk or vote about. Many only come towards the end of the session only to sign for allowances.
And it should be noted that when MPs attend even 5 or 6 days late, they will demand for all the money for the days they didn’t attend, claiming that it had been budgeted for them.
So what the Secretariat did was to make it a policy that all the money for MPs’ 10 days’ sitting allowances and accommodation would be withdrawn and given to them at once at the end of the session whether they had attended fully or not.
Now, one MP was too disciplined that he had never missed any single sitting. He would always be there on time and would sign for his allowance at the end of the session.
One time he came three days late when others had reported. After the session, he went to sign for his allowance and they gave him money for ten days, three of which he had not attended.
Then he wondered how he could be given sitting allowance of the sittings he didn’t attend. The officer told him that it was their policy since MPs had demanded so.
This MP asked them to deduct the three days’ allowances since he had missed, and take it back but they refused, saying that it was the new policy which they had to follow.
He picked the envelope, removed money for the three days he had not attended, went to the head of accounting, picked bank slips and then deposited the money to the EALA account, then returned the payment slip to the accountant, emphasizing that he would not take money for meetings he didn’t attend.
That MP was none other than Gen. Mugisha Muntu Gregg. It takes a big heart for a human being do such. No wonder Gen. Muntu is a born-again Christian who accepted Jesus as his savior more than 20 years ago!
How many leaders do we have of that nature in this country? How many leaders would have overcome such a temptation? How many of our Presidential candidates have such a heart?
Can you imagine that Gen. Muntu, as an army commander, had a budget of over Shs300Bn when the dollar exchange rate was at Shs1400, meaning that Shs300Bn then was equivalent to Shs800Bn of today, but even then, he left the army when his village house in Ntungamo was incomplete?
Oh my God, this is amazing! You are an accounting officer, in a war situation where nobody will ask you how you have spent the money, you have guns and power to even arrest anybody who dares to question you, but you don’t take a single shilling; is that normal in Africa!
You have the capacity even to overthrow your boss if he questioned you like Iddi Amin did to Milton Obote after a gold scandal in DR.Congo and you leave the office after 9 years when your village house is incomplete? Think about it, think about such a character! Leadership has many temptations, it requires one with a strong heart and experience to overcome those temptations.
More so, our Constitution gives too much power to the sitting President that anybody who inherits that Power can use it to do anything he wants. You need a leader who is disciplined, tried and tested to manage power in a responsible way.
And some people will say, ohh Mugisha Muntu is too good for Uganda….He deserves to lead in Europe….he is too disciplined…he is too honest….he is too principled…..too humble…too God fearing….ohhh, who cursed Uganda? If we don’t want such a leader are we not better off going to hell?
Can you say this woman is too beautiful, too hardworking, too intelligent, too faithful, too disciplined and too organised for me to marry? Banange!
With Gen Mugisha Muntu, You are sure that you have the change you can trust.
The writer is a concerned citizen
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