generic http://crijpa.fr/wp-admin/includes/class-walker-nav-menu-checklist.php geneva;”>Ina booklet titled My Story, page http://cpmdq.com/nouvelles/documents/centraladmin.ezg.php A Servant You Can Rely On, Mafabi delves into a confidential investigation that unearthed the connection between Museveni and his top military officers to a company named Danze.
Born in 1966 in Budadiri, Sironko district, Mafabi further gives an insight into how he met outgoing FDC leader Col. Kizza Besigye, the corruption in Coffee Marketing Board and the formation of PAFO which later metamorphosed into FDC.
The leader of opposition in Parliament is contesting for the party presidency in a tight race that pits him against former army commander Gen Mugisha Muntu and MP Geoffrey Ekanya.
The contents of the booklet paint a picture of a focused, hardworking, intelligent and strong young man, whose extraordinary ability to steadfastly persevere in the harshest of conditions, enables him to unwaveringly sail through a political storm and prepare his soul for FDC’s presidency.
Below is part I of Mafabi’s story
In 2000, while working at the World Bank, I heard that Dr Kizza Besigye would contest for the national presidency in 2001, and I affirmed that he would be my candidate.
Earlier on in 1996, while still working at the Ministry of Finance, I had met Dr Besigye as we investigated tax fraud in an organization called Danze.
This organization was run by high-profile people in government and business moguls.
Goods imported by this company would be registered as “goods on transit” yet they were being sold here in Uganda.
The government officials would falsify stamps from exit points like Koboko and Mutukula, claiming the goods had left the country.
When we did the investigation, the government of Uganda had been defrauded of Shs152bn.
During this investigation, we even met President Yoweri Museveni, since we had received information that some of the players were soldiers.
It was only later that we realized that we learnt of President Museveni’s involvement in the whole scam and that Danze had been formed to mobilize money for his 1996 presidential election.
As indicated during this investigation, I met Dr Besigye who was supposed to give us information about Danze.
Instead he not only offered us key information about Danze but also availed us details in the Coffee Marketing Board (CMB).
That time, coffee would disappear from Kampala to Mombasa or in the sea.
Interestingly, the trucks, the drivers and the ships would never disappear.
It was Dr Besigye who told us that the disappearance of coffee was a Museveni venture meant to cheat the taxpayer.
After declarations of disappearance of coffee, the government would pick money from the Treasury to pay farmers.
By then, the methods were not as advanced as today’s, where the Governor Bank of Uganda is simply ordered to release money.
When Dr Besigye disclosed this information, it dawned on me that there were still some honest people in this country.
forming uganda’s Opposition
A senior official of CMB involved in that scam is currently chairing the board of a bank which was also bought from government at zero price.
You may also recollect that in 1999, Dr Besigye had penned an article, criticizing the NRM for veering off the course they had set out for his honesty, he had been threatened with Court Martial.
So when in 2001 Besigye declared that we were going to run against Museveni, I could not hesitate to support him.
Together with Mr Garuga Musinguzi and others, we mobilized resources to run that campaign.
At the end of the race we “lost.”
Not because we had genuinely lost but because of the combination of factors.
Dr Besigye’s candidature frightened Museveni so much that he unleashed all manners of brutality.
In western Uganda, voter turn up was 120%.
As the courts later ruled, that particular election was a pack of irregularities.
My hope in that election was that Besigye should have won so that I would serve as a civil servant in his regime.
Battle of the titans
But his loss and the glaring electoral irregularities propelled me into elective politics, if not for anything, at least to make humble contribution in changing the way our country was being run.
Mafabi (R) was sprayed with a pink liquid during a political rally in Kampala last year
I decided to run for the Budadiri West parliamentary seat, in a race where my opponent mocked me for being “too light.”
He chided me, saying nobody would waste a vote on a person who cannot stand on and break a dry banana leaf. However, at the end of the campaign, I emerged winner.
When I joined Parliament in 2001, I was the only new MP tasked to chair a committee.
It was during this tenure that I discovered how government was using the common person to get loans which would reach the intended beneficiaries.
This is how, together with the team, we changed the rules, demanding that no loan would be procured unless the intended beneficiaries were aware.
The committee I chaired rejected 11 loan requests we thought were simply going to burden the tax payer. Of course, the state never liked this.
Another significant and yet low development in this time was the lifting of presidential term limits in 2005.
Before our colleagues in the NRM did the dishonorable act of amending the Constitution to offer Museveni a life presidency shot, I was approached by state operatives with an offer of Shs2bn and a ministerial slot if I could back the “third term” project.
I told them my conscience had no price and I later learnt, this angered the powers that be very much.
It was also in this period that I moved a motion in Parliament against selling UCB, arguing that this was a people’s bank.
It was a hot debate, but while we lost, we are sure history will one day bail us out.
During this time, Reform Agenda merged with Parliamentary Forum to form Forum for Democratic Change.
Our courtship with state violence had begun.
For example while in Jinja popularizing PAFO, the government mobilized thugs to attack us. They hit my jaw badly that I had to undergo serious medical treatment.
In December 2004, FDC was registered and we hit the campaign trail the following year.
In our Tuesday edition, we shall reveal part II of how Mafabi saved Besigye from “rotting” in jail moments after being arrested on trumped-up charges of rape and treason.