By Drew Ddembe
As usual, you lay it out quite clearly.
There is no problem at all with the way you feel about this. it’s what friends and family do. It is said, that to a mother will cry for her son even if he is a thief. And families visit their loved ones in jail even though they may be guilty.
While I read most of the details in the papers, I long ago arrived at the same conclusion as Justice Katutsi -that there was something suspect about the short selling of the bonds to Crane bank. Some of them simply could not be explained -and i do not have to be financially savvy or a genius to say so!
That shortselling a bond a few days to maturity when not under duress causing a loss of billions (and a profit of billions to the buyer) to your employer is really suspect. I really would have loved for this trial to go beyond this and look at any financial dealings with Crane Bank And Chandi!
There is also the matter of gambling in a Las Vegas casino and buying expensive jewellery using a company credit card.
Furthermore, there was the abuse of office and extending of credit to himself and Kagonyera his deputy to the tune of hundreds of millions of shillings without board approval!
There is also the little matter of a real estate transaction with Nzeyi at the same time as they were negotiating the Temangalo affair. The details of this remain fuzzy but this would constitute a clear conflict of interest!
What I find amazing is that a guy who had everything going for him and had such a good track record allowed himself to get into the situation he is in right now!
The only conclusion I can reach is that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That he was suddenly elevated to this position where because he was sitting on the largest caboodle of cash in the country, powerful people who wanted to access it had to be nice to him and be “friends”.
That the presence of powerful “Godfathers” must have made him feel invincible and untouchable -and allowed him to act with seeming impunity!
But it all got unravelled when the proverbial chicken dung hit the fan and he panicked -trying to get out of Temangalo. he “confessed” forcing powerful men to fight for their political lives! Being a soft middle class kid, he had never heard of “kuffa ki offiisa” or cowboys never tell! Essentially for those hardened boys who grew up in hard boarding schools like Matale, if you are caught stealing or cheating, you “died” like ‘an officer” and took the punishment alone without outing your colleagues. Your social capital went up immensely if you protected your mates! But woe betide you if you refused to die alone! Jamwa refused to die alone -BUT at the end of the day ended up dying alone!
While his powerful partners in crime got off with the loot and still have not even handed over the land at the centre of the scandal, 3 years after receiving payment, he ended up coming under the spotlight in what is seeming revenge for having outed his bosses and partners in crime! You see they knew that in exchange for him allowing them to use workers money as a playground, he too had played around with some loose change! It is this loose change that got him!
Unfortunately for him, a lamb does not play with wolves without getting eaten! it so happens that Museveni badly needs a ‘pin up boy’ to send to jail right now on corruption charges! If that boy happens to be an outsider so much the better! Chandi was an outsider who deluded himself he was an insider -and got burned! In the recently concluded elections Museveni was running against a candidate called “corruption”! He was his most powerful opponent! All of the rest were trailing far behind. And even after winning, Museveni knows that this man corruption is going to eat him up if he doesn’t fix him soon!
There are a few other outsiders who thought themselves insiders and got burnt too. The most recent one being Teddy Sseezi Cheeye. Cheeye wrote a sycophantic article in his capacity as “advisor to the president on economic affairs”, one of those many useless people that cost the taxpayer money, arguing the retrospective merits of the Temangalo affair and trying to sweep all of the improprieties under the carpet on the grounds that it was still a viable and profitable deal for NSSF! I wonder how profitable a transaction you cannot take possession of three years later could be! the reality remains that the whole Temangalo deal was corrupt with all of the elements of corruption, insider trading, conflict of interest, cronyism, coercion, abuse of power/office, name it! It was powerful men leaning on a subordinate and coercing him to allow them to dip their hands into the caboodle of cash he was meant to be the guardian of! But they got away with no consequences!
Cheeye a ‘mulebeesi’ who pretended to be an insider ended up in jail for eating GAVI funds making him one of a very small minority! Interestingly there were never any charges of causing financial loss to his employer against the boss of GAVI! An unknown woman also went to jail! If she is not out she would be the only one that has gone to jail on corruption charges and stayed there in the 25 years of Museveni’s rule! The other outsiders who have gone to jail include Ekemu who ended up his career by going to jail on corruption charges. He received a ‘pardon’. While Ekemu was a minster, he was one of those beneficiaries of ‘regional balancing’ in the movement government but not an NRM cadre! Cheeye somehow ended up back on the street after a few short weeks! All of the other thieves who belong to the right party remain on the street with president Museveni claiming they are innocent! Kiggundo of Greenland bank who together with Salim Saleh brother to president Museveni ended up facing the music alone and actually ent to jail for a few months still ended up on the street! Between the two of them, they virtually managed to bring down the whole banking industry in Kampala! Katto who brokered the junk helicopter scandal and paid a bribe of 800k USD to again Salim Saleh was too charged alone with irony of ironies, Salim Saleh as a witness against him!!! Saleh was ‘forgiven’ by his brother without being subjected to the courts!
Chandi stays alone to face the music! He goes off to jail like a common thief. but who am i to complain. Am one of those who have always found it unfair that a common chicken thief gets killed by a mob or sent off to jail for several year while big thieves who steal billions get away scott free! i should be happy but instead am sad that such a promising young man has while taking his own punishment as he should also taken the punishment of powerful and vengeful old men!
As you can Chandi joins a very small list of people who have faced corruption charges in 25 years of the NRM and part of an even smaller number who have been convicted. If he manages to stay in jail for 12 years or any significant part of that, he would have broken a record for being probably the first person to whom the charges stuck and he actually served out a custodial sentence. if he does manage to stay in jail, it will only be because this government so badly needs someone to stay in jail so they can claim to have ever convicted someone on corruption charges!
Without wishing to influence events, I pray that Chandi in future rejoins society and contributes to the development of our society! As for those who sacrificed a young man, while they went scot-free, shame on them!