Michael Ezra and Some Wealthy people in Kampala have got no Class!

By Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Michael Ezra's $3m dollar story 'showoff' in newspapers is a very interesting one. First of all, it confirms that Uganda is still a poor country and some rich people have got no class. Worst of all, it shows that the government is not bothered with finding out how the rich got their wealth!

Most Ugandans tend to be deeply offended by such frivolous showoffs and expenditures by the rich and that's why I'm not surprised that people are sometimes put off with Michael Ezra's behavior in the press. But the great United States Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that the real cost of the rich to the rest of society is what they consume.Therefore, how much is it costing the rest of us that some rich NRM politician, or some Kampala millionaire in his late thirties, is splashing around money on anything? The rich cannot want the same things as the poor though it would make more sense if Ezra could use his money; say to construct a hospital or factory somewhere in Uganda, other than blowing £¼ m on an expensive watch at an auction in Dubai. Because such a project could provide goods and services to millions in Uganda and he would probably be more appreciated.

Ironically, what the rich are often praised for is likely to do more harm than what they are condemned for. For instance, Ezra owes money to the URA, but all this is likely to be water under the bridge after that press conference where he splashed his $3m pocket money to the press.His message was very clear:'i have got more to clear my debts where this has come from''. The journalists who attended the conference all probably went home with smiles on their faces and murmuring words like: 'Omusajja Abalaze Sente'(the man has showed them money), despite the fact that they were not given any part of the money, but then again, he gave them headlines that probably helped them to make some money themselves in the process.

Some people asked:'' how could URA be going after Ezra and on the other hand he is being protected by other state agencies?'' All I can say is that most of these regulations and taxation came from the very rich themselves. They do not want competition! So the common person has to jump hoops to make money but at the end of the day, the system always protect the rich. It's obvious that the government of Uganda knows a thing or two about Ezra's businesses but it's not under any obligation to disclose it to the public.Anway,Why should they do it if Ezra is not hurting anyone?

The fact is that the entire monetary system is based on crime (albeit presumably for a larger good).Most of the money is created as debt, at compound interest. It is a mathematical fact that there is never enough money in circulation for everyone to pay their bills whether in Uganda or elsewhere in the world, leading to a cannibalize or be cannibalized dynamic. That the bad guys can be winnowed out through such a process is a very questionable assertion.

The desperation caused by the continual shortage of money has led to situations where the unconnected are often forced to either take jobs which are basically a form of slavery, or turn to a different criminal structure. It's all about survival for the fittest. People can do anything to land their hands on a dollar or pound, and morals are the last thing they think of in the process.

In the UK and USA, most wealth is inherent and the rich own factories where unions work for them and get decent wages, but wealth worship is also meticulously constructed by the press in these countries. American and British tycoons are some form of gods and Kings. A majority of population fantasize of being them. The corporations are the kingdoms and tea party is their loyal subjects.

When the USA rejected monarchy in the 18 century, a giant void was left in the American psyche. When the monarch was still around, human beings used to worship individuals better than themselves and aspired to be that individual. Kings and Queens were lauded in fairy tales. Some Americans romanticized the English crown since USA was a British colony? With no monarch now, the people in the USA worship the rich and celebrities. I can see the same trend happening in Uganda especially with increased isolation of traditional leaders by the current government.

Therefore, I request the poor to start minding their business and leave the rich alone. Ezra's money will only benefit Ezra alone and not you. The current class of rich people only has allegiance to themselves. They do not care about you and never will! The rich generation of 60s and 70s probably would use some of their money to construct a road for everybody but not this lot. Just forget about them and move on!

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba