Ugandans are still struggling to overcome shock that engulfed them upon watching the disturbing images coming from yesterday Monday meeting during which KCCA councilors voted to impeach Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.
Twenty nine councilors voted to impeach and only three namely Aidah Nakuya (NRM), Suleiman Kidandala and Shifrah Lukwago voted to save Lukwago.
However, the session wasn’t without disturbing episodes. Throughout the evening, TV stations aired images and running battles including inside the voting hall where Councilor Allan Sewanyana was brutally evicted after he tried physically attack Minister Frank Tumwebaze who was chairing the meeting.
Outside the voting hall, men ostensibly drawn from the infamous Kiboko Squad wrecked havoc. They went on rampage beating up whoever they came across. MPs Ken Lukyamuzi, Latif Sebaggala and Sebuliba Mutumba didn’t survive the assault. They had their clothes torn for attempting to attend the meeting inside the voting chambers.
Being MPs entitled them to be ex-officio members of the KCCA Authority. Lawyer Abdullah Kiwanuka, who had come with Medard Segona to serve the minister with Justice Yasin Nyanzi’s interim order blocking the session, was brutally beaten and his clothes torn. Blood was oozing from his nose and ears.
All this mayhem was orchestrated by plain clothed men who claimed to be anti-Lukwago vigilantes from Kisenyi. As they beat up people including MPs like Moses Kasibante, police officers led by Ruhweza, cheerfully looked on from a distance. This prompted Segona to protest as to why Ruhweza wasn’t doing anything about it.
INSIDE THE HALL
For many of the anti-Lukwago councilors the day started as early as 6am. They came in a group van and entered the chambers where they started chatting and jubilating. Minutes to 8.30am, Frank Tumwebaze entered the chambers and the meeting started.
Jennifer Musisi attended and looked satisfied after the anti-Lukwago motion had been marshaled through. Tumwebaze then ran through a brief preamble detailing the history of the tribunal whose report formed the basis of Lukwago’s impeachment. By 8.50am the anthems and prayer were all done.
The minister then asked whoever was willing to move a motion whether to implement the tribunal’s recommendations against Lukwago or not. Baker Serwamba of Makindye East, who only months ago was Lukwago’s errand boy hoping he would prize him with the deputy mayor slot, put up his hand and moved the motion which was seconded by RDC Mpimbaza Hashaka’s close pal Hawa Namugenyi of FDC and youth councilor Adam Kyazze.
As Tumwebaze moved to put the matter to vote, pro-Lukwago councilors Suleiman Kidandala and Allan Sewanyana moved to stop him. Kidandala wondered why members were voting without allowing Lukwago chance to be heard first directly or through a representative as provided by the law.
Tumwebaze asked Kidandala whether he would like to speak on Lukwago’s behalf to which he said no. Tumwebaze wondered why Lukwago wasn’t present claiming to have written inviting him to defend himself.
Kidandala warned against continuing with the meeting giving all manner of reasons. One he said Lukwago had been hospitalized and also claimed there was an effort by police to block his movements.
He also referred to Nyanzi’s court order blocking the session. The order had been handed down in an open court process attended by representatives of Attorney General and councilors’ lawyer Kiwanuka Kiryowa among other advocates. They tried to argue against the order but they lost the argument.
At the mention of this court order, Sewanyana, who had just returned from the gate where he clandestinely received a copy of the order from one of Lukwago’s lawyers, surged forward waving what he claimed was the court order.
Kidandala gave way to Sewanyana who kept shouting demanding that the minister must listen to him. Tumwebaze rejected it all saying this must have been a fake court order because it lacked essential features like the seal and the like.
An unrelenting Sewanyana kept shouting “point of order” prompting Tumwebaze to call insecurity. As they waited for security, a rampaging Sewanyana jumped onto the table and attempted to kick everybody around him.
Security operatives, including Musisi’s plain clothed ones, then grabbed Sewanyana and violently dragged him out of the chambers. As soon as he was whisked off, it was youth councilor Aidah Nakuya’s turn to shine. She is NRM but a Lukwago diehard.
She shouted at the minister saying “we are committing an illegality.” She wasn’t listened to. There was simply a lot of heckling and ululating led by DP’s councilor Angela Kigonya from Rubaga. They kept singing “tumumeze” which means we have ferried Lukwago.
The other betrayal Lukwago suffered was the last minute defection of councilor Henry Lukwaya from Rubaga who switched at the last minute and voted to impeach him. Members had wanted secret ballot but Councilor Godfrey Asiimwe of NRM (Rubaga North) stood up proposing transparency via open voting by show of hands. Whispers then started that those who had been facilitated to impeach the Lord Mayor must account publicly by evicting him.
Shifrah Lukwago, who sources say rejected to be facilitated, would allegedly have voted against Lukwago if it had been secret ballot. There were fears also that Lukwago could have bagged more votes if it was secret ballot.
According to Kamunye, a vernacular sister newspaper to Red Pepper, councilors anticipated facilitation of up to $17,000 which translates into Shs42m for each. Kamunye reports indicated councilors have been too broke and the prospect of getting so much money at once was simply unresistable.
It has since emerged that the subsequent court victories Lukwago scored including Yasin Nyanzi’s order declaring the day’s proceedings null and void, has since excited many powerful ministers and officials in government. These are mostly frustrated politicians who feel sidelined by the president and are envious of Tumwebaze as a person.
After the session, councilors were escorted under tight police security and left through the behind small gate overlooking Ministry of Finance. This gate is a privileged entrance always used by only Jenifer Musisi and her office staff.
Afande Grace Turyagumanawe justified the police action of protecting councilors arguing they were very insecure because of angry Kampalans wanting to harm them revenging Lukwago’s impeachment. In fact sources say the councilors also slept in the same place from where they were driven to city hall to vote out Lukwago.