Embassy audio recordings of crime and stupidity

By Lydia Lakwonyero

We hope they will be received at the airport by the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner-General of Prisons and some people from a Kiboko squad.

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Have you listened to the recording of the conversation that allegedly took place between Ugandan diplomats in Denmark?

I say "allegedly" because I feel it would be impolite to consider so many people in what seem to be positions of authority and responsibility to have so little brain power — individually and combined.

The news reports about it were questionable for a couple of reasons.
First of all, these days whenever a news story about such a scandal breaks we tend to check for signs of malice and sabotage or political influence. The audio recording, on the other hand? I listened to it four times and have decided that it cannot be authentic. First of all, the sound is so clear that it could not have been a Zoom call or one of those online meeting applications.

But then on the other hand the audio clarity reveals some aspects of the meeting that are unquestionably Uganda-government style. For instance, the man who they keep referring to as Ambassador Elly Kamuhungye keeps clinking his teaspoon against his teacup or saucer. Then, it is impossible for a group of adults to hold a meeting of the nature that the audio reveals, if their intelligence is any level higher than boiled vegetables.

We have heard that they have been recalled from their diplomatic posts and we hope they will be received at the airport by the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner-General of Prisons and some people from a Kiboko squad.
The Kiboko squad people need to be at the front to administer heavy lashes of the cane — one for each stupid part of that online meeting.

First of all, they started out by clearly and deliberately identifying someone as Ambassador Elly Kamuhungye, as if to leave no room for doubt about the fellow. Then, on top of discussing their ongoing criminal activities, the person acting as said ambassador even brings in other crimes he claims to have committed before while a diplomat in Switzerland. Not only that, at some point he even declares how disloyal he is to his employer, saying he would have sued the Government, if he had found himself in a position one of his other colleagues had.

The entire phone call is amazing to listen to. There are so many side-paths of idiocy and nonsense that one finds it difficult to give it one listen and move on. At some point, the embassy administrator declares: "But the driver is earning more than us?!" The tone of her voice shows you how unacceptable it would be to her. The same lady, during this difficult COVID-19 period in which people are losing jobs and donating their hard-earned money to the Government to deal with the pandemic, suggest that the embassy needs to buy ‘pictures' for the wall of  the fake diplomats home.

Just a few hundred kilometres from where they were, in Britain, a Ugandan recently died of poverty and starvation under circumstances our high commission there had no visibility of. Were they focusing on hanging pictures up on the wall or whether their office safe was functional enough to hold illegally gotten monies?
But leave her alone for a minute and consider the statement about an Excel file made by another person who they keep insisting, during the recording, is Ambassador Nimisha Madhvani.

The fact that her surname is exactly the same as that of one of the world's richest families can confuse you and makes it hard for the people behind the recording to succeed in their ploy to soil her name. See, there is no way a Madhvani would be so brazenly greedy, but also so stupid as to tell a room full of colleagues how they can "illegally manipulate" a file so as to circumvent government financial controls.
I recalled the scene from The Wire, a United States drama series, where Idris Elba catches one of his fellow criminals taking minutes of a criminal conspiracy.
That was funny. This, however, is not.

The criminality of their actions aside, the insensitivity is scary. Anybody listening to that audio will think that all government offices casually operate in this blatantly thieving manner in broad daylight. Their greed is crassly put on display in a way even petty thieves would not approve of Until they get here for the grand welcome by the Kiboko squad, let us organise for their future to be made bleak. Either that or we should find the comedians who put this recording together and applaud them for a job very well  done!