What would life be without hope? As 2018 tails off towards its end, we are not yet there yet still hope that we shall make it. And that forms the basis for our goals even as we reflect on the ups and downs that have made this year memorable. Personally, I have grown in leaps and bounds. I have also witnessed personal tragedy and scandals, some shocking, others hilarious.
As a nation, we have endured painful episodes of state formation – fear and uncertainty as the elephants clashed, and ecstatic moments as Ms Uganda Quinn Abenakyo took our flag to dizzying heights when she emerged the third most beautiful woman in the world when she clinched the continental tiara on Sanya, China.
In the political space, we saw the birth of the People Power movement that swept over the country like a hurricane, realigning the politics. Yet the dust has settled and the clock continues to tick away into the future. One episode that has been painful to watch though, is the ongoing probe into the Bank of Uganda’s sale of commercial banks. The revelations out of there have further dented confidence in public institutions. For years, BoU’s supervision department had looked like a superman, averting crisis after crisis. Then came Crane Bank, and the parliamentary probe that lifted the veil over the less glamorous inner workings of the lender of last resort. What comes out clearly from the findings so far, is that absolute power corrupts.
What do we learn from this? Over the years Bank of Uganda has been an institution considered to be very well structured with the best brains in the country. How then could things go so wrong? The answer might be found in Governor Mutebile’s initial resistance to an investigation by the IGG. The Governor invoked institutional autonomy. What has been exposed so far suggests that the absence of a keeper is not healthy for the governance of any institution? We need effective checks and balances and a degree of transparency if we avoid future scandals.
On a personal level, 2018 has had a mysticism that tempts you to want to poke it and see if it will bite, and before you know it, its venom is already in your system. Let’s look at all the things we set out to do at the beginning of the year, the resolutions we set but failed to see through because we forget them as soon as the year sets in motion. I have books that I have accumulated and failed to read but kept on pushing to tomorrow, tomorrow…
None the less, I’m glad we’re all ending 2018 happy, cheerful, and grateful that we have come this far. I would like to encourage you not to lose hope. As the Psalmist says in Chapter 30 verse 5 “…though the sorrow may last for a night, His joy comes in the morning…” so rest assured there is light at the end of the tunnel for you.
I can only but pray that this New Year will bring peace, happiness and joy for you. That we witness more peace, and that as a nation we devise new ways of addressing pressing matters. I’m looking forward to a more fruitful 2019, one with a different and more desirable menu for us all. One where we shall not procrastinate, but actually get work done. Merry Christmas, and a prosperous 2019.