President Yoweri Museveni has decided to play Santa Claus in the summer, granting clemency to the likes of Jimmy Lwamafa and his not-so-merry band of 199 fellow inmates. Among the lucky recipients of this presidential benevolence is Jimmy Lwamafa, the once-esteemed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, who probably never thought his pension plans would involve bars of a different kind.
Frank Baine, Uganda’s own wordsmith of the correctional system, reported that the decision to free Lwamafa was not purely out of whimsy but rather a result of combining age and behavior like ingredients in a recipe for redemption. Apparently, crossing the ripe age of 65 automatically qualifies you for the “elderly” club, where the entry fee is a pardon. But wait, there’s more! Lwamafa’s behavior scorecard must be looking pretty sparkly too, as he’s managed to avoid causing any prison riots or starting a pension scheme for fellow inmates.
In a classic twist that would make Houdini proud, Baine revealed that Lwamafa’s miraculous transformation from a pension scam mastermind to a pensioner himself is further justified by his “not well” status. Evidently, the concept of being “terminally ill” has gotten a makeover, and now it’s a golden ticket to freedom. It’s almost as if the illness decided to join Lwamafa’s good behavior club and secured his exit from the penitentiary gates.
In this nationwide game of “Catch and Release,” all the newly minted non-criminals are slated to become law-abiding citizens once again and return to the loving embrace of their homes. It’s a touching reminder that no matter how many millions you might have spirited away through ghostly pension maneuvers, there’s always a presidential eraser waiting to wipe the slate clean. One can only imagine the heartfelt reunions and inspirational speeches that will soon echo through the hallways of those unsuspecting homes.
Jimmy Lwamafa, who once made headlines for a heist involving a jaw-dropping $25 million in pension funds, can now rest easy as his jail cell gives way to the rocking chair of retirement. Alongside him, Kiwanuka Kunsa, the former head of “research and development” (read: creative ways to channel funds), and Christopher Obey, the ex-chief accountant of the Ministry of Public Services, complete the trio of beneficiaries. Whether they’ll spend their newfound freedom in quiet reflection or perhaps even penning a self-help book titled “How to Go from Behind Bars to Being Behind Desks Again,” remains to be seen.