In Summary
  • Not so long ago, when Kitatta cried, people died.
  • If he even cringed, someone paid for his anger with their life.
  • But now when Kitatta cries, everyone laughs.

Andrew Mwenda is an indefatigable man. Now, if you don’t know what this means, just ask Mwenda to explain why criminal activities like corruption, land grabbing and political killings should be legalised and his response will be the meaning of indefatigable.

The other day, we were looking for what to write on this page when we saw news items flashing and the main attraction was of this man crying like a widow in a deeply cultured family that has an old and ugly sibling of her late father waiting for ‘their turn’ with her. The man, Abdallah Kitatta, is not your average human. He is a hard core who openly boasted about being a criminal king and the quota pin that held Gen Kale Kayihura in office.

Well, one day, Kitatta was picked like a criminal. He went howling like a confident beast, he said his godfather would get him out. But things happened so fast after that that the next time Kitatta was arraigned in court, all he could do was cry. Even last week, all he could do as gold coated pistol as presented as exhibit was cry.
Not so long ago, when Kitatta cried, people died. If he even cringed, someone paid for his anger with their life. But now when Kitatta cries, everyone laughs.

So, while looking for what to write here, we thought, “oh, maybe Mwenda understands this crying phenomenon of Kitatta.” We gave him a ring and the man picked on first ring. He said some things we couldn’t really understand but we will just reproduce it here for you. One, Mwenda said that in economics terms, Kitatta cries because Uganda’s economy is not experiencing scarcity of tears.

“If the economy was doing badly and in recession like some doomsayers like Besigye allege, there would be no tears. Our tear glands would be dry. But the economy is good, lots of tears, even hankies will soak in tears. Look at Kitatta…” Mwenda said.
“Secondly,” he dubbed his bald pate with a hankie and went on, “When Kitatta cries, you know he makes news. Big news. So the media make a kill and that is also good for the economy. These media houses and the online masappes, they all feed on such. It’s good for the economy.”

Now why doesn’t some investor listen to Mwenda real good and start a farm that gets big shots crying on camera so that the economy hits the middle income status already? Have you ever imagined Gen Kahinda Otafiire crying for good measure? A crying Otafiire would rival our neighbour’s ‘Visit Rwanda’ scoop in North London.

By the way, Mwenda wasn’t joking. He was actually more serious than the anger you would see on the face of a constipated man at a free food festival. He was also happy about explaining this economic theory of tears, so we thought he could explain more since a week earlier, he had been trending as having said land grabbing was such a neat concept since it helps economic growth. Not so long ago, he said corruption was good for the economy.

We were about to ask him if the current spate of kidnappings was generating more revenue than tourism and it Uganda Tourism Board would best consider marketing Uganda as a kidnapping-for-ransom destination and out that on the sleeve of Manchester United, but something happened.

Mwenda received news that the government that allegedly keeps grabbing people’s land had grabbed his Independent magazine in Kamwokya and would use it for running ministry newsletters and tenders and adverts for janitors. Mwenda abandoned our interview to go and rescue his Independent baby. Of course, we ran after him.

There, at Kamwokya, he was barking. He was foaming at the corners of his mouth. He said the government should not deprive citizens like himself of their bread earner and instead pay for space in the media. He said grabbing private property was a colonial thing that should not have a place in modern society. He said…
We left confused by the whole contradiction of land-grabbing-is-good, grabbing-Mwenda-property-is-bad thing.