“Back to the things that matter, in Bukedea, a basin of dried cassava right now costs a whooping Ugx. 25,000/=; cassava is now being called white gold”, writes a social media friend.
“Back to the things that matter”, one infers, means back from discussing the 6bn handshake bonuses that another, moreover, one considered a public servant, reportedly, referred to as “peanuts.”
Many Ugandans despair so deep at public servants’ elitist attitude. Many Ugandans despair even deeper at how public servants and civil servants in Uganda get away with making statements that if they were in another form would be very good for manure, some would argue.
Saying that we should not focus on the 6bn because it is “peanuts” compared to the total amount of money that was recovered is lazy economics, many Ugandans will conclude. Many Ugandans, in fact consider it as irresponsible leadership, when public servants manipulate the obvious.
Logic dictates, that even small children in pre-school know that 6bn is much less than what was recovered, a small percentage it is in fact. Now, to those such as the public servant who think 6bn is “peanuts” in the scheme of things, many Ugandans challenge you to show your acumen in grey matter.
How would you respond to the many Ugandans in the rural areas who ask you to justify how it was better to utilize that 6bn to line the pockets of those ‘civil servants’? Would you be able to demonstrate to the Ugandan public, with sound evidence, how it was better to line the pockets of the rich as opposed to investing the 6bn in the Serere agricultural research centre, for example?
Or better still would you be able to demonstrate how utilizing the 6bn to line the pockets of the rich was a better decision than using the money to provide the necessary materials that mothers need to be in hospitals for child birth? You know, so that a mother is not required to come with the cloves which medical personnel will wear in delivering her baby.
This is where respect is earned. Let us here the economics on the opportunity costs for the “peanuts”, the 6bn first. Think of all those Ugandans who are being pushed deeper into poverty and food insecurity because of the skyrocketing prices of their staple foods, such as cassava, as you make your arguments.
After receiving your arguments on the opportunity costs of the 6bn and judging them to be sound, then will Ugandans move on to the other ‘bigger’ money. That is all many Ugandans ask of you.