Uganda is a land where conspiracy theories permeate every facet of life.
That is why every now and then, you hear murmurs about this and that.
On the political landscape, the theories are even more bewildering.
You have heard several times that the political differences between two political heavyweights were sparked by a woman.
Their rivalry has also led to other conspiracy theories including one that avers that the two are in fact in a political game of sorts and ordinary Ugandans are pawns in that game.
I was reminded of these theories this week when the minister of state for Investment and Privatisation, Evelyn Anite engaged in a war of words with Bemanya Twebaze over the affairs of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL).
UTL has been ailing for the last couple of years and officially went into coma.
Anite accuses Bemanya, the administrator of UTL, of favouring a certain firm that wants to buy UTL. She claims the firm is not well capitalised.
Bemanya on his part has dismissed the minister’s allegations as unfounded.
Yet as the two officials have tangled, one question has remained unclear: Who owns UTL?
On the surface, the questions sounds foolish and dump.
“Isn’t it owned by the government?” I can see some of you asking.
Okay, it used to be owned by the government in the 1990s until some of its shares were sold a Libyan-controlled firm.
After the mess in Libya, government got back its shares, so the script goes.
But this is Uganda we are talking about where many things don’t seem to follow the script.
Do you remember the controversy over the ownership of Uganda Airlines?
Conspiracy theory has it that UTL has a real owner, someone, high up in the levers of power.
Of course this is a conspiracy theory but that does not mean that it should not be stated.
The Rogue cannot confirm whether Anite and Bemanya know the real owner. But they could have clues basing on their past actions.
Remember one time Anite had decreed that as an act of patriotism, every Ugandan should be forced to buy a UTL line?
Another time she said UTL would provide very cheap internet services and all government agencies and public institutions would by law, be required to subscribe to these services?
Whatever happened to those proposals we don’t know.
What we know is that even Anite has no access to the operations of the telecom she wanted every Ugandan to subscribe to.
As for Bemanya, he believes that his actions in regards to UTL are in the best interests of the real owner.
Where else would he get the power to take on Anite, who felled the powerful Amama Mbabazi.
Anite can be ruthless as Mbabazi can testify but in Bemanya, she could have found a match.
The Rogue’s reading of the situation is that Bemanya could be standing on strong ground while Anite’s is shaky.
Mbu increasingly, she is being shoved off the dining table and she is starting to realise it.
Meanwhile, the real owner is observing the fight from a distance and for the time being will not intervene. When he/she intervenes, The Rogue will be there to let you know.
The Rogue is a satirical column that runs once a week on The Nile Post.
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