WITH GUN IN CHAMBERS? Water State Minister Ronald Kibuule

In the corridors of the Luzira-based Ministry of Water and Environment there seems to be a ghost with loose hands stalking the male Ministers of State for Water, a rare coincidence.

Current Water State Minister Ronald Kibuule and one of his predecessors Akika Othieno are allegedly wont at unleashing slaps at the slightest provocation, something that evoked sad memories about gender disparity and also rubbed fiery human and women rights activist Miria Matembe the wrong way.

WHO IS KIBUULE? Woman and human rights activist Miria Matembe seems to be asking.
WHO IS KIBUULE? Woman and human rights activist Miria Matembe seems to be asking.

Matembe’s ire was aroused after being told that Kibuule allegedly assaulted Ms Hellen Obuku before calling in the Mukono District police commander, Mr Alfred Ahimbisibwe, to arrest her on a charge of libel. Ms Obuku, a guard at the said bank, reportedly wanted Kibuule subjected to a routine security check at the bank’s Mukono branch, something that led to the brouhaha.

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And, true to tradition, Ms Matembe, who is also a former Ethics and Integrity Minister, this afternoon castigated Minister Kibuule for being ‘childish and unfit to serve as minister’, after the minister reportedly assaulted a female security guard at Stanbic Bank in Mukono last week.

“Even if it was a man, he would slap. He is an amateur and he was not fit to hold that high position,” Matembe told The EagleOnline on phone.

According to Ms Matembe, despite his young age, Kibuule sees himself as being ‘next to God’ and by viewing himself in that respect, he ‘doesn’t know how to handle power thinking he will use impunity’.

“Recently, I was told he was behind the instigation of violence against the Bishops when they toured the Uganda Christian University (UCU) land” Matembe said, adding that the Minister’s reported actions warrant protest. She however, hastened to note that in Uganda demonstrations against impunity were difficult to pull through.

“We have a problem as Uganda because we are not allowed to demonstrate otherwise, we should have demonstrated against his act,”

Matembe said before temporarily turning her guns to her successor, current State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Fr.Simon Lokodo, and accusing him of incompetence.

Known for her brazen courage, Ms Matembe said had she been the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Kibuule should have resigned by now.

“During my tenure I made Akika Othieno and Joram Jumabuti Ajeani to resign. Othieno slapped worker in the ministry while Ajeani was forced to resign after beating his wife,” Ms Matembe said.

Asked further a comment, Fr. Lokodo, said he was busy in a meeting and he would respond later.

Meanwhile, in a strange twist that has sent tongues wagging, the Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Officer Mr Patrick Mweheire, apologised to Minsiter Kibuule for the ‘embarrassment’ the incident might have caused him.

“I convey my sincere apologies for the embarrassment the incident might have caused you. The security guard involved is not a Stanbic Bank employee. We have communicated with the security company to remedy the problem,” Mr Mweheire’s letter read in part.

But Mr Mweheire might soon realize that ‘might is not right’ as workers have protested the Stanbic Bank apology to Kibuule.

Mr Wilson Owere, the Chairman General of National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU), condemned the apology, describing it as injustice to a worker who was carrying out her work assigned to her by the same bank.

“We all need to unite against this injustice. An injury to one is an injury to us all. We must show the minister the mighty power of workers,” Mr Owere said.

The ‘raw power’ wielded by leaders at times gets to their heads: in 2012 then Kenyan Deputy Justice Nancy Makhoha Baraza lost her job after assaulting a female security guard Rebecca Kerubo, who demanded to check the DCJ’s bag before she could be allowed to access the Village Market shopping mall.

Meanwhile, by press time today hundreds of Ugandans had posted on various social media platforms protest declarations indicating they were closing their bank accounts with Stanbic Bank, following the apology letter written to Kibuule by the bank’s CEO.