IAN ORTEGA: The primitive, unimaginative thieving class of Uganda


OP-ED– A friend today argued a new theory; “A theory of Two Thieves.” He states that it is not that there are no thieves in Kenya or Tanzania, they are as many. The difference is that the thieves in Kenya are progressive and the ones in Uganda are a non-progressive lot.

In Kenya, the thieves steal to invest in industries, tourism,agribusiness and in serious businesses funny but true do create lots of jobs. Contrary, the thieves in Uganda steal to invest in unplanned real estate,unplanned farms,unplanned investments that result into taking away jobs from the youth. The thieves in Kenya mastered the art of thieving with class. The Ugandan thief is shabby, archaic.

When you visit the home of a Kenyan thief, you will see how Kenyan theft differs from Ugandan theft. Ugandan theft is not progressive. It lacks ideas, it is not imaginative. Kenyan theft blurs the line between theft and hard work. You can’t accuse a Kenyan thief of laziness.

So this friend of mine argues that the starting point is for Uganda to refine the quality of its thieves. That Ugandan thieves lack an intellectual grounding. They steal with no purpose. Ugandan thieves never outgrow their theft because they lack the intellectual rigour.

So may be the Ugandan thieves need to go to Kenya and Tanzania and benchmark. That you can steal be a good thief. That don’t steal too much to the extent of stealing from yourself. Good thieves do not touch some things. Good things do not touch the Public Good.

The thieves in Kenya have not touched the transport system. Good roads work in favour of everyone. They do not steal from education. A poor education system eventually claims the lives of everyone. Because you will meet a doctor who cheated their way out of medical school.

The thieves in Uganda have even failed to build one planned neighbourhood in this country. There is nothing like a Karen in Uganda. Our thieves lack class, they are backward, they can’t even build good houses. And that is the biggest problem of Uganda.

In Uganda, people steal for the sake of stealing. There is really nothing driving their theft. Our thieves don’t have grand ambitions beyond buying cars, building houses, throwing parties. Kenyan thieves steal to fund big ideas. Our thieves were revolutionary in body, not mind.

Our thieves lack creative imaginations. They cannot fund art. They cannot even copy things from the countries they visit. Theives in other countries know how to copy and paste good things. South Korea, Taiwan, all these had thieves, but clever-minded thieves.