‘USELESS PACKAGE’: Kampala Minister Frank Tumwebaze Declares Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago a Spent Force After Failing What He Calls His Latest Plot To Instigate Taxi Drivers to Riot Over Monthly Charges
By Stephen K. Muwambi 17th, June 2013
Kampala Minister Frank Tumwebaze has declared Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago a politically dead man walking.
This is after Tumwebaze brags, he curtailed Lukwago's latest inspired taxi drivers' demo. Tumwebaze has already had his way with a Tribunal investigating Lukwago for possible impeachment over several charges, including incompetence.
At the moment, Lukwago has been stopped from calling council meetings, turning him into an idle Mayor, thanks to an order issued by the Tribunal. This means, he cannot talk to his Councillors to save him. Lukwago cannot also talk to his electorates for purposes of rallying them to do something to save him. As would be expected, Police would not let him be.
In short, Lukwago is a trapped man, whose survival now depends on the outcome of Justice Catherine Bamugemereire's probe and or, from his pending Constitutional petition challenging the probe. This also faces problems since the constitutional court lacks quorum
Back to Tumwebaze, exploiting the above scenario, the Kampala Minister told taxi drivers; "Those so called Lord Mayors instigating you not to pay taxes are jokers. They are dishonest and are not supposed to be leaders.”
He added that the Lukwago type demands to be paid salaries and allowances, “yet they stop you from paying taxes. They tell you they will bring you development, yet they tell you to riot when we ask for taxes so that we can fulfil their own pledges to you,” He made the strategic messages through several interviews he gave to the print and electronic journalists today.
The highly billed taxi drivers demo, hit a snag after it took less than three hours to die out. We understand that Tumwebaze talked to the taxi drivers pleading with them to prevail over their members to shun the demo.
The taxi drivers’ leaders did the needful, rallying them to shun the demo, which they accepted. Inside sources told us the taxi leaders told their members that they would be regarded as enemies of the state, if they went ahead with the demo.
To intimidate them into giving up on rioting, we understand, the taxi drivers leaders, reminded their members about the past incidents when their colleagues were arrested and thrown into jail to rot, without any opposition leaders coming to their rescue.
"If we have any issue as taxi drivers regarding the new charges, they are better resolved by talking to the authorities (read Minister Tumwebaze) instead of rioting which sends a wrong message that we are enemies of the state," inside sources quoted the leaders as telling their members.
Meanwhile, Tumwebaze gave several interviews to journalists, saying he was open to discussions with peaceful taxi drivers as opposed to the one who had chosen to riot. But, he insisted the taxi drivers had to accept in principle to pay the taxi charges first, before they could talk about the amount.
To show he was not joking, Tumwebaze talked to Police Chief Gen Kale Kayihura, who deployed his men that sealed off the taxi parks entrances as KCCA ‘askaris’ went about collecting the monthly charges.
Justice Benjamin Kabiito stopped the payment of the charges, saying Lukwago's elected team had not been consulted. But KCCA Executive boss Jennifer Musisi all the same set the Shs120, 000 figure charge.
After the ruling, Lukwago sat down taxi drivers and they agreed on a Shs70, 000 monthly charges, a move Musisi refused to sanction.
Tumwebaze, later through Minister Richard Todwong, decreed that the Shs120, 000 be restored, which angered taxi drivers and Lukwago gave rise to the botched demo.