By Kagenyi Lukka
KAMPALA-The boiled frog syndrome introduces us to two dichotomies on how to react to different situations. A frog placed in lukewarm water will eventually die as water boils because it is used to this kind of water.
On the other hand, a frog suddenly thrown into boiling water will quickly jump out in order to save its dear life. This is because in the latter case, the threat and danger are realized on the spot as opposed to the former.
Uganda’s embattled Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja finds herself in a situation related to the narrative of the frog that suddenly jumps out of boiling water.
The IGG has been under immense pressure from all the corners that are interested seeing a corruption free society; from religious leaders, civil society, non-governmental organizations among many.
And the Head of State added salt in the wound when he publicly lambasted Mulyagonja for not protecting the public and more so, Investors from the corrupt officials.
This was during this year’s state of the nation address on June 6th 2018.
The president’s remarks about the IGG were bilateral welcomed. And it is widely perceived that the creation of the James Tweheyo led corruption monitoring team will incessantly keep the Inspectorate in check, and will restore the lost confidence and trust in the inspectorate.
The remarks by the president came on the heels of public outrage following the IGG’s failure to finish the probe into the outrageous wealth of Justine Bagyenda, the former executive director for commercial bank supervision at BoU who is also widely perceived to be Mulyagonja’s close confidant.
Justine Bagyenda whose leaked bank accounts indicate that she had accumulated over Uganda shillings 18 billion with in a space of only six years evoked public outcry as to how she could have managed to do this despite having a gross salary of less than Shs 30Million per month.
Also revealed were properties in upscale suburbs in Kampala and Western Uganda.
As it is well known that we are all legally and morally obliged to fight corruption and other forms of misuse of public offices and resources, a whistleblower/concerned citizen petitioned the Inspectorate on 20th February 2018 to carry out an investigation into Bagyenda’s illicit wealth.
While the IGG was quick to react and earlier reports had indicated that Bagyenda was grilled on Monday 19th 2018, there was less mention of what happened thereafter until fresh pressure emerged in May 2018 when a group of youths petitioned the prime minister accusing the IGG of bungling the investigation.
Like in the boiled frog syndrome that I earlier explained. The IGG was quick to come out, issued a litany of statements that came close to averring that the famous probe was done and that, she was to hand over the much awaited report to the president and the Parliamentary committee on State Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
Mulyagonja was quoted by the Daily Monitor of 11th June 2018 saying “We welcome any other authority that can verify Bagyenda’s assets. We shall hand over the declarations so that authority does the verification so the public stops accusing me of being friends with this woman. I don’t know where they trace me being a friend of Bagyenda. I came to know Justine Bagyenda as director of bank supervision about two years ago. Before that, I didn’t know this woman”.
Now more than a month after her pronouncement, the public is yet to receive news that the report was released. And finally, one can ask, Was Ms. Mulyagonja trying to shrug off public pressure by this kind of reaction?
Kagenyi Lukka is an Aspiring MP, Ikiiki Constituency, Budaka.