By Moses Kaketo
President Yoweri Museveni has denied media reports that there are mafias in his government.
The minister for Privatization, Evelyn Anite, recently claimed that mafia’s in president Museveni’s government are baying for her blood for frustrating their efforts to liquidate the bedridden Uganda Telecom Limited.
Ms Anite has been involved in back and forth squabbles with government officials, including Attorney General William Byaruhanga and Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana, over the management of once mighty telecom company.
Responding to one of the commentators Rogers Kagaba, on social media who wanted to know whether mafias in Uganda are real.
‘‘There are no mafias in Uganda.’’ The president said
The Head of state says ‘‘there are corrupt and criminal individuals, but they are easy to get rid of because the NRM has a lot of power. There is nobody who can criminally challenge the NRM in Uganda’’
He added: However, since the NRM is a force of justice, we never go against anybody without evidence. Therefore, those who are just talking of mafia are wrong and panicky. Patiently gather evidence, bring it to the authorized people and we shall strike.
He went on to give examples of corrupt cases he has handled.
‘‘Do you remember the ministry of Finance people that were arrested? How about a Minister of State that was arrested? It is just a matter of evidence that is all.’’
The president also encouraged Ugandans with proof of corrupt Ministers and government officials to forward them the evidence ‘‘you will see how I deal with them’’ the president said.
The term mafia, which originated in Sicily, Italy, became popular in Uganda in 2005 when the then vice president, Prof Gilbert Bukenya, raised alarm, when he claimed powerful mafia in government wanted to finish him off.
The term Mafia in Uganda, is now used as a collective to refer to bureaucrats or power brokers who act with impunity to amass wealth and can destroy or eliminate those who expose them or stand in their way.
Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, during a press conference in May hit out at “mafias in government” who perpetrate graft and whose transgressions, she alleged, went unpunished.