Joel Kamadhi was recently in Busoga, after he ‘landed an invitation to be home’ during President Yoweri Museveni’s tour of the eastern region that involved inspecting the massive wetland of River Mpologoma along the Mbale-Tirinyi road.
Kamadhi was still upbeat, telling members of the Mutungo Malwa Group that those who planned for the President’s visit ‘were kind enough to recognize my contribution to Ugandan society’.
“You see, I told you young men that I am important. I have served Uganda for over 40 years and people in my area recognize that,” Kamadhi said.
However, Hitler Eregu and Yorokamu Bwambale challenged Kamadhi as to why those in charge of the President’s protocol hadn’t introduced him to the ‘Big Man’. “I watched the whole programme on TV, how come I did not see them introducing you to the Big Man? You were even nowhere near the venue,” Bwambale, the Mukonzo colleague who last week was the victim of Kamadhi’s acerbic tongue, charged.
But Kamadhi is no push-over. “My friends, ndi mu kintu”! Kamadhi said, adding: “I met those who met those who met those who planned for that visit and told them the message to be forwarded to the Big Man.”
Eregu, the reformed former rebel from Teso (who incidentally claims patent rights over Malwa issues) and Bwambale, the less-combative Mukonzo who these days seems laid back after the attack on his King’s palace in Kasese, had no option but to give up the challenge, leaving Kamadhi with beaming a wide grin of triumph.
Kamadhi then went on an unrestricted rant, seeing that he had overcome Bwambale’s attempt at distracting him.
“It was during my interaction with the chain of representatives of the Big Man that I raised the issue of our Busoga Princesses who are involved in various battles of political supremacy. I told them to tell the Big Man about Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga fighting with National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba and, Bukono Princess and MP Persis Namuganza, who is also the State Minister of Lands, fighting with the ICT State Minister Aidah Nantaba Erios, a politician in the not-so-distant Kayunga district.
According to Kamadhi, Lumumba recently went on a land-buying spree in four different districts of the greater Busoga region, allegedly to ‘spread her wings’ in the region in an effort to wrest the Busoga women leadership from Kadaga. Kamadhi said information he gathered indicated that Lumumba apparently used a dubious fellow, an alleged land-grabber, to acquire the said land. “The said man is allegedly connected to some bigwig in the police but I don’t know how that will help him when issues of land grabbing arise,” Kamadhi quoted one of the aides as telling him.
Kamadhi then briefly took the group members through the Namuganza-Nantaba fight: “Munna, you see these Busoga Princesses are no joke, Namuganza has even managed to silence Nantaba, a woman known for openly defying Museveni and still maintain a position in Cabinet!” Kamadhi said with a fake sense of pride.
He added: “You know it is our princess who replaced the Kayunga Iron Lady at the lands ministry and Namuganza is keen on showing her what Basoga women are made of!”
But Bwambale, as if recovering from slumber, shot back: “You seem to only know about the Busoga fights, yet you claim to be conversant with what goes on in the whole of Uganda. Havent you heard about other fights or your knowledge is limited to Busoga?”
Hahaha, Kamadhi chidingly laughed before replying: “Well, I was still narrating; it was after the detailed accounts of the Busoga women leaders’ battles that the Big Man’s aides also tasked me to update them with information on all the NRM women involved in different quarrels and scandals over the past three years.
According to Kamadhi, his brain went racing back to 2013, and zeroed on a few of them including the recent one of Investment State Minister Evelyn Anite squaring it off with her boss Matia Kasaija; then there was KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi Semakula fighting Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, a battle lately joined by Kampala minister Beti Olive Kamya; the ‘cold war’ between Kamya and Musisi over who calls the shots in the city; Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng and Dr Diana Atwiine battles with former health PS Dr Asuman Lukwago.
Then there were also the battles involving NRM SG Justine Kasule Lumumba fighting Dr Tanga Odoi, the party’s Electoral Commission boss, over salary disparities of staff at the NRM Secretariat and the party EC; Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde’s battle with Parliamentarians led by Kampala Woman MP Nabillah Naggayi Ssempala over the issue of Chinese petty traders in Kampala; Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) chairperson Olive Kigongo fight with enterpreneur Andrew Rugasira and Amina Hersi’s involvement in the ‘tripartite battle’; and last but not least, Kamadhi talked about the scandal that he said, has tainted the image of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Executive Director Allen Kagina, who signed documents authorizing dubious payments to a Chinese company, leading to a probable loss of about Shs32 billion.
“For Kagina, the aides told me the Big Man has not taken her calls for over four months now; and that she even reportedly resorted to using ‘third parties’ but Museveni is not budging; after all he said this is kisanja hakuna mchezo and he is fighting hard to ensure he doesn’t appear before Ugandans as a joker,” Kamadhi said.
Then he started enumerating some of the other stand-offs involving NRM women leaders, insisting however, on telling us the story of State Minister of Finance in charge of Investments Evelyn Anite and her boss, finance minister Matia Kasaija.
“Young men, I won’t go home before telling you this,” he started off, adding: “some of these youthful politicians are so powerful and are giving the veteran NRM fellows a run for their age.”
“Do you know that it is Anite who brought former Prime Minister and Museveni confidant Amama Mbabazi’s political career to an inglorious end after she knelt down while in Kyankwanzi and begged the Big Man to ‘rule for ever’ at a time Mbabazi thought he was next in the NRM queue? Do you know that recently she also almost brought the career of another NRM veteran politician Kasaija to an end after the two, in their capacities as ministers in the supervising ministry, appointed different people to chair the board of the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited? Do you know that she was even on maternity leave when she made her appointment? Do you know that she announced the appointment of Eng. Proscovia Njuki three days after getting the Minister’s letter appointing Eng. Frank Katusiime? Do you know that Kasaija has since recoiled and Anite’s choice, Eng. Njuki, is the UEGCL board chairman?” Kamadhi asked.
Well, after the raft of questions he posed that heralded no answers, Kamadhi announced he was retiring for the night, and promising to return with ‘even more scintillating stories’.
We all dispersed, leaving the ‘brewer’ Hellen to gather her implements.
This is a burlesque column that will be running every Friday.