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Our leaders are guilty of severe breaches of discipline


ARTICLE SUMMARY: They have betrayed their country and they have gone from fame to shame!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY: Nnyombi Mohamood is a journalist.

My work as a journalist right away from school, I believe, has had a significant contribution to this great nation. Throughout my entire journey, I have had a promise to fulfill, and that is being part of the few people who impart, educate and disseminate knowledge to this noble country.

What we share with our readers is knowledge, skills and constructive ideas. And this has demonstrated us as great leaders whose impact is felt for the good of the country. We have therefore done what our people expect of us – something that cannot be said of many of today’s leaders.

Leadership is all about being exemplary and fostering change. It is about speaking the truth. Genuine leaders are different. They consistently talk the truth.  It is, however, a public secret that our leaders frequently 'swallow their truth’. They say things to please others and to look good in front of The Crowd; they betray themselves by using words that are not aligned with who they are! Speaking the truth is simply about being clear, being honest, and being authentic. I was raised up told that a leader is always a servant of those he leads. With servant leadership, a leader’s primary role is to serve people –everyone from young to old. Why, then, is this style so rare among our leaders today?

We have a trend of leaders whose mandate is not to serve but rather create and gather wealth without any sense of remorse!  So long as they are satisfied, their peoples’ economic and social concerns make no sense. It is of little or no wonder that recently Councilors in Lwengo District refused to convey and attend Council meetings because their sitting allowance was not yet processed.

Instead of concentrating on creating jobs and fostering an atmosphere of confidence and surety in our economy, our leaders are busy creating their own wealth and stealing from the public. Very few are able to fulfill the promises they made to their voters. Little do they know that the voters’ strength will always remain paramount and compelling. Our leaders have neglected their moral obligations and responsibilities to their people. They are instead enriching themselves and asking for more privileges.

Media recently reported that our Members of Parliament got a secret pay rise. In addition to their salaries, the MPs are currently entitled to a number of allowances, including mileage facilitation of Shs 4.5m and constituency facilitation of Shs 3.2m. Other entitlements include town-running allowance, committee sitting allowance, honoraria for committee chairpersons and vice chairpersons, contribution to vehicle purchase, medical allowance, etc. On average, each MP earns about Shs 20m per month. Recently, each of the 386 MPs was paid Shs 103m for the purchase of a personal vehicle amid public uproar.

Recently Kenya's new MPs wanted a pay rise before they had even taken office, protesting that their £51,000 salary was too low to live on in a country where average income is less than £100 a month.  Local politicians also joined the call for more cash, despite Kenya's £3.5 billion public sector wage bill doubling in the last four years and now consuming half of domestic revenue.

I have always been telling you in these pages that the problems in Uganda’s health care system and the shortages of the anti-malarial drug grow out of the country’s corruption-wracked leaders. The list of corruption scandals in malaria and child health programs alone is formidable. The stream of officials facing similar charges of corruption and graft has prompted most European countries to withdraw their support to Uganda’s government for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Our leaders have been charged with corruption and theft of public wealth. The very people we expect to protect them. Last month former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was acquitted of corruption. The original corruption charges were based on allegations that Mubarak and his sons embezzled money to fund presidential palaces. Former German President Christian Wulff will go on trial in November on corruption charges, more than 18 months after the politician once tipped as a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel resigned in disgrace from the largely ceremonial role of president. Wulff, who served just 20 months as president, will face charges of receiving favors.

Rod Blagojevich, former Governor of Illinois, is an American politician under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 2005 for corruption. Blagojevich and his Chief of Staff John Harris were charged with corruption by federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. As a result of the scandal, Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois General Assembly and removed from office by the Illinois Senate in January 2009. The federal investigation continued after his removal, and Blagojevich was indicted on corruption charges in April 2009.

Dear our leaders, I would like to bring to your attention that great leaders inspire. They inspire everyone in their personal and professional lives. They act exemplary and focus on the future and well being of their people; they protect their fame and keep away from shame. You should therefore understand that the key to building a great nation is to be great leaders.

Great leaders are in the making, moving from a good leader to a great leader. Your greatness is only seen with your readiness to handle and make good of the demands of your people and nations.  As for the citizens, your MPs fail to come back to their constituencies and yet you consistently re-elect them to the august House! That’s why we shall never change our political leaders until we – the people who elect them – change our own selves.