Dr Kisamba Mugerwa, who recently retired as the chairperson of the National Planning Authority (NPA), has accused MPs and ministers of promoting monetisation of politics through corrupt tendencies. Mugerwa made the remarks during the launch of his new book: A focused Journey, A tale of Courageous Strides, at Fairway Hotel in Kampala, on Wednesday.
The event was organised by TFK Luminary Publishers. Mugerwa, 73, who retired in August, served as the MP of Bamunanika in Luwero district between 1980 and 2004 and held various cabinet ministerial positions.
“I was an MP and a minister for over 15 years, but I never paid any coin to people to elect me. In fact, instead, it was the electorates who would reward me,” Mugerwa said.
“Where did the politics of giving money come from? Since when did the ministers become accounting officers? A minister is not supposed to touch money,” he said, pointing to a number of corruption scandals involving politicians.
He advised Ugandans to work with utmost commitment to achieve development. “Be committed to that assignment; that is what I mean by being focused in my book. One time, I said even if I was made a minister of ashes, I would make that ministry beautiful.” He explained:
“I was made a Minister of Luwero Triangle in the middle of a financial year and I was given an office that had cobwebs. My secretary was sitting four rooms away from where I would sit and there was no car for me. But as an MP, I had been allocated a pick-up, which I used for six months before they bought for me a ministerial car. By the time I left the ministry, everyone was wondering how a man who never fought in Luwero would do wonders.”
Mugerwa expressed concern that the achievements he left in the ministry had been shuttered. In the book, Mugerwa narrates his childhood, education, family, academia and political career. The book emphasises that early childhood, upbringing and education is crucial in human development. He argues that the community has much influence on a child’s life for purposes of guiding their journey towards success.
“During our days, a child had to submit to the community’s guidance and this supported parents in their role of grooming children, as the community performed a similar role as the parents. I benefited a lot from this culture,” Mugerwa said.
“In life, you need to be focused, not to be derailed in this everchanging environment. There are so many things that can potentially distract a person from their journey, such as that of education, work or a good marriage. It is one’s choice to remain on the track you may have chosen earlier in life.”
While reviewing the book, New Vision’s managing editor (editorial), David Mukholi, remarked: “I was reading this book; something intrigued me. Prof. Mugerwa used to moonlight as a taxi driver with a job somewhere in public service. He takes you through the journey of how he suffered and he leaves you wondering, is this a man who used to moonlight as a taxi driver, suffering arrests and being clobbered.”
“One point that comes out clearly in this book and I want to elaborate, is that most organised groups, most organised people are better planners. If you are organised people, an organised nation, you plan better and get there. To get there, it requires a high level of organisation,” he added. The deputy governor of Bank of Uganda, Louis Kasekende, commended Mugerwa for being hardworking. “I have been amazed over the years with how Mugerwa has combined public office with academia.
I want to thank him for putting aside time and writing four books. He is such a hardworking gentleman,” he said. In the last three months, Mugerwa has launched three more books, Development Planning and Human Development, Luweero Triangle in the Limelight and Drought Management and Disaster Management