If the president of Uganda ever calls you to offer you the job of Minister for Ethics and Integrity, think twice before you accept.
For its previous holders and the current one are disappointed people whose efforts are neither backed nor appreciated by society. Starting with the latest or the current office holder, the honourable Simon Lokodo.
If a dignitary has been disrespected, it is poor Lokodo. Last week, he tried to stop a music festival which he swears he had concrete intel was intended to be a four-day sex party. He said the most despicable things including bestiality were routine at the festival.
When Lokodo failed to block the festival, he informed the press that “Satan has won.”
Poor Lokodo has been publicly humiliated before. A couple of years back, a young Nigerian man launched Uganda’s era of leaking nude pictures on social media. The nude photos were of his Ugandan girlfriend. The Nigerian, who had an English name and a Ugandan passport under a local name, left Kampala in a hurry when Lokodo started looking for him.
Once safely outside, the fugitive recorded and circulated verbal insults against the minister, throwing in a Luganda word “tomanyiira,” which is a contemptuous warning to lowly fellows to back off.
In his crusade against pornography, Lokodo last year announced that he had acquired an anti-porn machine that would detect those viewing lurid stuff for police to pounce on them.
Whatever his intention, Lokodo became the butt of jokes with his machine that nobody believed existed. Then an anti-porn commission was launched and they tried to back Lokodo. They named a few cyber nudists who were going to be arrested but well, nothing happened. An all-round limp effort then.
Before Simon Lokodo, the minister for ethics and integrity was Dr Nsaba Buturo. He spent his time crusading against nudity, witchcraft, corruption and kept telling colleagues that if you live in a house built using stolen money you cannot have peace.
When he was found to be among nine ministers who had switched parties and so were liable to lose their parliamentary seats, he resigned. Few people remember that Buturo even resigned from public office in dignity. Many here see him as a loser.
Before Nsaba Buturo there was Miria Matembe, now a crusader for good governance and never tires of telling the public how disappointed she is with her former boss. An idealist who some even describe as naïve or innocent, she once unsuccessfully tried to table a list of MPs who were having irregular romantic relations.
Another ethics and integrity minister was Tim Lwanga, who criticised a Ugandan man who had sex on live TV during the Big Brother show in South Africa and on returning home caused the longest traffic jam ever seen between Entebbe Airport and Kampala as masses came out to welcome the new hero for his sexual exploits.
After Lwanga had his say denouncing the whole thing, his boss the president who was camped in eastern Uganda sent a helicopter to pick up the sexy young man from Kampala and airlift him east where he congratulated him for representing Uganda on Big Brother.
Such is the thankless job of a minister for ethics and integrity in Uganda.