Okurut Bernard Gabriel, Satire

Bernard Gabriel Okurut

LEGALIZE EMBEZZLEMENT TO ALIENATE POVERTY.

A PRAGMATIC REMEDY TO THE ENDEMIC POVERTY IN UGANDA

We live in a jungle and man has to be a lion in order to survive in this hostile universe. Man is an accident in nature and has to struggle to be identified in a meaningless world. It doesn’t matter whether he steals, kills, robs or cheats on his way to the top of the ladder.

It is a very bad sin and a moral crime if a public servant had the chance of stealing public funds and does not use the opportunity. A public servant who does not use his position to earn wealth by hook or crook does not deserve a decent burial. Imagine a traffic officer working all day under the hot sun on busy roads yet he does not even own a wheelbarrow! Police and army officers spend sleepless nights and endure bad weather guarding the nation from possible danger yet when it comes to being paid, they are rewarded with ‘bitter leaf’ soup while the people they guard are busy enjoying ‘nyama choma’ and drinking cold Nile beer. Their families sleep like refugees back at the barracks while their bosses snore in air-conditioned storied houses. The question is, why not legalize embezzlement to save such hardworking and patriotic civil servants?  If corruption, bribery and embezzlement were legalized, traffic officers, policemen and soldiers would be able to build nice houses, by new cars and afford to take their children to better schools.

The same thing applies to bank officials who yawn of hunger while counting bank notes all day long. Why not secure a few bank note like the bank of Uganda officials who managed to jump off from below the poverty line by minting a few more coins that could run their families for a lifetime?  Imagine working as a bank teller but still fail to pay your ailing mother’s hospital bills! It is really unfair, most financial workers count large sums of money for their bosses, they ensure that it is safe yet back at home their wives beg the neighbors for salt.  It would be justifiable if a bank teller in that terrible condition stole some of his boss’s money to help solve some financial problems at home. I mean why should his wife beg the neighbors for salt yet her husband can steal money to stock food stuffs at home? Why should his fridge be empty yet he could steal some money to ensure that it is always full?

I would not be pleased to hear that a medical officer working at a public pharmacy does not own a private clinic of his own yet he has all the access of stealing the drugs from the national stores. The purpose of the job is to legalize the employee’s access to public property and funds no matter the cost, after all ‘the end justifies the means.’ In rural areas, mothers die while giving birth because they cannot access better health services. A person can be bitten by a snake yet they have to travel for miles to the nearest health facility. Why not allow medical workers to steal drugs from national stores and set up private clinics which would take health services nearer to the people?  Research should be conducted to identify doctors who have stolen public drugs and stored them in their own clinics in rural areas. These doctors should then be awarded gold medals on national heroes’ day in front of journalists appreciating them for the heroic act of saving the country folk from travelling long distances to seek medical care.

Teachers too should not make noise in the media or carry out sit down strikes because they are paid little despite working a lot; a wise head teacher just needs to stay calm and wait patiently to squander some funds allocated to a primary or secondary school as Universal Primary or Secondary Education Fund [UPE, USE] and divert them for his own affairs. Part of that money would be used to pay the auditors and silence their hungry mouths from feeding the ears of insensitive masses with information that would incriminate this noble scheme. Teachers don’t eat chalk and neither do their families feed on books and stationery. Is it really pleasing to see a teacher teach the children of rich men while he or she cannot afford  university tuition for his own son? Why should a teacher teach smart children yet he cannot afford to buy a new t-shirt for himself? Let corruption be legalized in public schools so that teachers can find a way of raising  a little more income to enable them to meet their expenditure.

If fathers-in-law joined the fight and advised their sons in-law who own big government jobs to swindle some ‘unwanted funds’, poverty in homes, divorce and domestic violence would be reduced since women would become more committed to their provident husbands. Christians, more so priests, should adopt a positive attitude towards corruption. Scriptures like ‘man eateth where he worketh’ should be taught to the believers so as to motivate them to squander the money without fear. A church whose congregation is proudly corrupt cannot fail to buy their priest a car or build him a nice house. A civil servant who embezzles funds can be of great help towards the development of the church, such a person cannot fail to pay his tithe and offer a tenth of his stolen money to the church. The priest could also steal from this tithe and use it to pay his due rent and outstanding debts. The remainder of that money would also be forwarded to the diocese for the bishops to also feast on, then the Bishop would also forward this token of appreciation to the Archbishop! Do you see how a corrupt church member can be of benefit to the church and the nation at large? Legalizing embezzlement in churches would help to bridge the financial gap between the high-ranking priest and the lay readers. Corruption makes them equal since they all get a chance to steal a little money and make themselves tycoons in a year or two.

My suggestion to legalize embezzlement and corruption in both public and private offices should be applauded. Take a look at the story of Mister Hare and other animals as told to us in the folktales: mister Hare would sleep all day while the other animals worked. He was a tiny animal with little energy yet the wisest in the jungle. He never owned a garden, never went hunting yet he never lacked something to eat. When attacked by stronger animals, Mister Hare would play tricks on them and that way he managed to avoid being killed. He was simply a corrupt fellow who conned other animals for survival. That’s how man should live. One has to be smart enough to survive the horrors of this unfair world.

I strongly believe without doubt that parliament should move a motion and pass a bill to promote nepotism and fraud in state-owned enterprises. Public officials like ministers and permanent secretaries of big ministries and CEOs of executive bodies like the Revenue Authority who rob from the national treasury can then put the money into developmental activities. A minister for instance can missappropriate funds and establishes a private farm upcountry. This farm could employ more than thirty people hence solving the cancer of unemployment among the masses. On a positive note, a wise permanent secretary who secures a fortune by stealing some funds can change the lives of his poor relatives by opening for them businesses, paying for his wife’s trip to the Bahamas and a honeymoon in the legendary Zanzibar. If innovative enough, he can also be able to construct a five-star hotel on the posh hills of Kampala, a private school in Wakiso or a factory in Jinja. This in one way or the other helps in the development of this country. Matter of fact these people can help budget for public funds in the right way instead of letting the government inject the finances into unproductive sectors.

It so annoying how society expects a twenty-five-year-old university graduate to own a brand-new Benz, a house in Kampala, a business and at the same time be married to a hot light-skinned brown young woman. When such a person graduates and doesn’t find a job, the whole community laughs at him and yet if he gets one and steals some funds, the whole world still blames him! My suggestion is that the young man should be allowed by the law to embezzle as much money as he wants to enable him to meet society’s expectations. University students should be equipped with the necessary skills during their internship on how to rob from their workplaces without being noticed. They -should be warned about the heavy load of work and the little pay awaiting them once they enter the job market. They should be taught all the sophisticated techniques and forms of corruption in order to make them beneficial to their communities. Fighting corruption should be declared a crime against the law. A maximum-security prison too should be built for punishing the enemies of progress who try betray their nation by fighting corruption. The money wasted on funding Anticorruption authorities should be diverted to more productive sectors like agriculture, the nation spends a lot of money fighting a practice that is of more value to its development.

As I said before, a public servant who does not misshandle funds while in office does not deserve a decent burial. Of what importance is such an imbecile to his community? How beneficial can such a lunatic be to his parents who spent their hard-earned money educating him? I would be a proud father to my son if he grew up to head a commercial bank and swindle a few billions without being noticed. Such a son would be of great benefit to his tribe, I wouldn’t mind writing him into my will as heir.

If it wasn’t for embezzlement, my cousin could not have afforded his wife’s bride price. My next-door neighbor, a soldier, couldn’t have renovated his father’s house, bought a farm with hundreds of exotic cattle and a brand-new Toyota van if it wasn’t for securing a billion shillings from the money meant to buy machinery and other equipment at the newly constructed army barracks. These brave men deserve gold medals and songs of praise. They are better than the so-called loyal public servants who break their backs serving the nation honestly and earning nothing in return.

I adore the philosopher who said that ‘man is an accident in nature and has to exert his will in order to be identified in this meaningless universe.’  Since there are a few jobs in the country which are not even enough to pay the increasing number of graduates, it would be beneficial if corruption were legalized to help solve such a crisis. Before you criticize my idea and throw stones at me for offering such a pragmatic remedy to the endemic poverty in our continent, ask yourself what you have done to help make things right wherever you are. It starts with you, don’t ask what your country has done for you. Ask what you have done for your country……

 

Return to WordCity Monthly’s October 2020 issue…

 

Bernard Gabriel Okurut is an enthusiast of creative writing, he is a poet, singer, songwriter, freelance journalist and a published author with amazon.com and spillwords.com. He published his first poetry collection ‘The Noisy Silence’ at the age of 23 years. Currently a student of English language and literature at Kyambogo University Kampala Uganda. He writes a poem a day. He is a Rastafari by faith and most of his works are philosophical and aimed to emancipate the reader’s mind.  Bernard Gabriel Okurut’s pieces of satire are published all over the world by different literary journals, blogs, websites and magazines.

Blog: psychichpoetrycom.wordpress.com

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