Magufuli, Kagame and #6bnhandshake

“Honest people are very rare to find in this country (Uganda)”, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda for the last 30 years, Yoweri Kagutta Museveni, is reported to have said while justifying why highly paid civil servants and business people (the lawyers who were contracted to represent Uganda in the Tallow Oil case) deserved huge financial bonuses for doing their job.

One thinks that there are more honest Ugandans than the President recognises; and the honest ones are not necessarily those he thinks honest. President Museveni’s attitude is clearly different from that of President Magufuli of Tanzania and that of President Kagame of Rwanda, some have concluded

Since President Magufuli’s term of office began he has made it clear that civil servants are paid to serve the people of Tanzania and not to enrich themselves. He has also defined the way the Government of Tanzanian does business with the private for-profit sector – none of that waste.

It is quite feasible that President Magufuli would wonder why it was necessary to contract ‘outside’ lawyers to defend government when there is an entire Attorney General’s Office to do so. Let alone paying the hired lawyers an additional bonus. It is also quite likely that President Kagame would not allow for such transactions.

“Satisfaction for civil servants should come from the results of their inputs A teacher, for instance, if students pass, that should be where you derive your satisfaction.” Ms. Perry Aritua, said during Spectrum Talk Show on Radio One FM90 on Friday, 13th January 2017.

It is quite likely that both President Magufuli and President Kagame would agree with Perry. A good non-financial presidential handshake is bonus more than enough, some argue. Yes, there are other kinds of presidential handshakes.

The good kind of handshake, the non-financial one, is very easy to give; is cheaper and at the same time invaluable – you cannot put a price on it; and its value is most likely always timeless, some would argue.

A handshake from the President to a Fundraising Director of a not-for-profit organisation as he toured exhibitions during a national agricultural show, like President Museveni used to give many years ago, is very rewarding. It is a handshake that recognises the hard work of all active citizens in contributing to the Uganda that is our home.

Photo: Ms. Norah Owaraga, Fundraising Director of Uganda Change Agent Association (UCAA) receives a non-financial handshake from His Excellency the President of Uganda, Museveni, during the National Agriculture Show in Jinja. At that time Hon. Winnie Byanyima was the Patron of UCAA. Also in the picture is Kusulm (RIP). Kusulm was among the honest Ugandan lawyers who believed in and conducted themselves within the ethos of Ubuntu.

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