Early this week, Evelyn Anite, the junior minister for Privatisation and Investment made a bold claim that some mafias in government want her killed.
The youthful minister used a press conference she had called on Monday to say, “The plan by the mafias is to take Anite out of the picture. I might die but history will judge them. You know the mafias, they are the ones who have been blocking the audit.”
She was speaking barely seven days after Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi directed that the audit on activities of Uganda Telcom be halted.
Anite is not the first person to tell the whole world her life was in danger.
In 2005, then Vice President Gilbert Baalibaseka Bukenya told Daily Monitor that a clique of mafia in government wanted his head.
Then, he claimed mafias were photographing his pawpaw and orange plantations “… in a bid to compile evidence against him so the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) could open an investigation.”
Other smaller personalities also claimed the mafia was after them until the word regained prominence former Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura told journalists that the mafia had infiltrated Uganda’s security and intelligence agencies and used their elaborative network to commit sophisticated crimes including fraud in financial institutions with the help of bank employees and security personnel.
“They have informers at banks that provide them with up-to-date information on clients with beefy cash on their accounts and the security circles shield them,” Kayihura said in December 2016.
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga was the next to intimate that the mafia in government work in cahoots with dodgy officials with glaring impunity. She told the 9th Commonwealth Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa in May that this hindered the anti-corruption fight.
“The mafia, in cahoots with dodgy officials or like minds in the finance ministry and road construction chain, instead got this compensation money and put it on their bank deposit accounts for a whole two years,” Kadaga said.
According to Bukenya, who was stripped of the vice presidency and has since gone into private practice, mafias are a group of people who use all the available means to maintain their status quo by targeting those being favoured by the sitting president.
“When the regime wants to groom new people to take over, the old who may not want to be sidelined develop some sort of mafia cartels to make sure they bring the ones being favoured down. I was once a victim and I know it is what Anite is going through because the old guard think she is being favoured by President Museveni,” he told The Observer.
He added that some people in government don’t like the favours Anite enjoys from the President and will use all means including blackmail and even death to diminish her influence.
“When Anite comes out to say she is being targeted, it shouldn’t be taken lightly because I personally experienced it as that group of the few who think they should always be favoured worked to ensure that they undercut me,” he said.