Saturday, August 18, 2018
Patrick Okumu Ringa - Uganda's Most Un-honourable Man?
“Honourable.” If you describe people or actions as honourable, you mean that they are good and deserve to be respected and admired as in, “I believe he was an honourable man, dedicated to the people and his district”. There is, another way you could use the word: “The people also felt he did not behave honourably in the aftermath of the recent municipality parliamentary elections”. That aside, the term is also used as a title prefix before the names of people who are members of parliament, ministers and some other officials.
In Uganda, there are people out there who want to join politics and to become members of parliament. Most of them do it under the guise of ‘For God and My Country’ yet in reality, they do it for totally different and selfish reasons. They do it to scheme for a 4x4 ride at almost zero cost. They do it to take advantage of going abroad on useless fact-finding missions like seeing how garbage is collected or how street lighting works. They do it to award themselves hefty pay rises, sitting allowances and of course, the most important scheme of all, finding that loophole that enables them so skim public funds for personal gain so they can build a lavish crib to show how ‘successful’ they are.
I think I’ve have been to Nebbi Municipality. Regardless of my having gone there or not, Nebbi Municipality sounds far – like it requires one to first get immunised and will take three days to get there. Apart from Patrick ‘OPP’ Oyulu, the other household name to have slithered out of the Municipality is, Patrick Okumu Ringa who so research tells me, was Padyere County MP for ten years until 2006 when he got trounced by David Ringecan (RIP).
In true political gusto, Okuma-Ringa was not bound to let that setback get to him that, in several other elections, he tried and in vain I might add, to get back his Honourable title but still lost and more recently to Suleiman Hashim in the recent NRM primaries. Again, that didn’t deter him. Like a true northern warrior, he scraped himself off the ground, licked his wounds and came back charging – this time as an Independent. And once the results came through, had our Okumu-Ringa gotten his title back? Err, embarrassing to say, but, nara (*)!
If sanity had prevailed, our Okumu-Ringa, would have put his hands up and said: “Once again the people have spoken, and they obviously do NOT want me to have the Honourable title. Such is their conviction because I got the least votes out the three candidates that stood.”
And that should have been the end of the tale and the end of this Sunday drabble, but there is more. Battered, bruised and dejected, Okumu-Ringa didn’t take defeat lying down. He went home and after throwing all his toys out of the pram, he had a moment of clarity that was laced with a scathing anger and venom that psycho sadists like Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler and Osama Bin Laden could not have thought of in their heydays.
No, he didn’t go on a killing spree but he looked at everything he had done for his constituents in the ten years that he was an Honourable, and said: “right, this is it!” Perhaps frothing at the mouth, he lashed an order to his men to dismantle the ten or so boreholes he had built in different wards for his constituents! In defence of his actions, he said: “I am hurt…let them go and look for water elsewhere…”
Now what sort of grown up man stoops that low into the pit latrine and does that? Well Okumu-Ringa does that perhaps we should start calling him The Most Un-honourable Patrick Okumu-Ringa?
(*) Nara, a word used by teens to mean ‘no’.
Pictures: okaygh.com, olumuyiwa.com.ng, bbc.co.uk
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