Friday, 3 October 2014


With politics commonly branded a ‘dirty game’, it may be scarcely surprising that not many old boys of St Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK) embrace it. 
But those who have played the ‘dirty’ game, despite having learnt at school that cleanliness was next to Godliness, are keen to see more of their peers involved in the management of society.

During the annual reunion at City Royal hotel in Bugolobi on Friday, ministers Hilary Onek and Matia Kasaija led calls for fellow SMACK OBs to join the run for political office.
“Politics is simply management of society; it is not a dirty game;  it is thieves that make it dirty,” said Onek, the minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, after receiving a lifetime achievement award from the SMACK Old Boys Association (SMACKOBA).
Onek lamented that these thieves have soiled society; it is the honest politicians who have to come in to clean up.

“In Kisubi, they teach us to be obedient,” said Onek, mimicking the prayerful pose of First Holy Communion recipient. “But these [other] people are running around everywhere.”
Onek, however, admitted that politics is not for the weak-hearted. He compared it an anthill dance common with a certain Congolese tribe: everyone has to dance on top of the anthill, with those who fall off getting eaten. Having been dancing since 2001 and still counting, he seemed to suggest, he certainly is not a weak man.

Matia Kasaija, the state minister for Planning, echoed Onek’s message, saying there was no reason why SMACK OBs should be cleaning up dirty work of bad politicians. He urged senior OBs to be “strategic” and  get their younger comrades into positions where they can exploit their potential and grow.


Other politicians who went through SMACK include former DP President General Paul Ssemogerere, former MPs John Kawanga and Michael Mabikke, and former Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya. The keynote speaker at the reunion was Mathias Katamba, the managing director of Housing Finance bank, who spoke on “inspiring lives”.

Katamba, who thrived at Uganda Finance Trust before moving to HFB,  said that to lead inspiring lives, people needed to focus on four things – perspective, values, relationships and lifestyle. He urged fellow OBs to get involved into initiatives that benefit their communities and society, giving the example of Rotarian Emmanuel Katongole.
“How many of us,” Katamba asked, “find time to write books?”

Besides Katamba, Onek and Kasaija, other OBs recognised included Rama Makuza, the MD of Civil Aviation Authority; Dr Christopher Ebal, the chair of National Water and Sewerage Corporation; and Dr Ambrose Agona, the incoming director general of the National Agricultural Research Organisation.

SMACKOBA is planning to build a classroom block at the college, so it can meet the demand for its distinguished educational services. OBs heard that once the works have been costed, they will all be invited to pledge to finance items, until the whole block is completed.

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