Park Yard Taker Ham Heckled At Gen Kayihura Function
By John V Sserwaniko
On invitation by Police Chief Gen Kale Kayihura, hundreds of Makindye Division residents residing in the 12 parishes making Kabalagala Police Division on Women’s Day (Wednesday) converged at Wonder World/International University of East Africa in Kansanga.
Kayihura, who spent the whole of Sunday having fun with the same people at Nsambya Gogonya playgrounds where they organized a sports gala, was here to thank them for the patriotism they have manifested partnering with area police to fight crime.
He served them a sumptuous meal and also publicly gave out medals and other gifts decorating participants whose contribution to the sports gala was very outstanding. He also brought them musicians like Gravity Omutujju and Ziza Bafana who entertained them till late.
Also in attendance was a group of Kwagalana tycoons who were led by their Chairman Godfrey Kirumira. Gen Kale introduced them to the crowd as “Friends of Uganda Police Force.”
The crowd seemed to be largely comprised of President Museveni’s supporters as seen in the way they kept thanking him for maintaining Gen Kayihura as IGP.They also often flushed his NRM thumps up symbol each time a speaker mentioned Museveni’s name.
Hamis Kigundu (aka Ham), the tycoon at the center of the recent fracas that saw tens of thousands of Park Yard market vendors violently evicted by the kanyamas and their market fenced off, was among those Kirumira came with. And they were all introduced by Kabalagala Division DPC Mugerwa to have generously contributed to the Sunday community event at Gogonya grounds.
Ham, who made great logistical contribution to the Sunday event that was totally funded by the community without a coin from the police budget, later asked to address the gathering. His aim was to announce an offer of 20 brand new computers to support data management at the various police posts making Kabalagala Division.
He said this would “help to improve data management in police.” He is actually a resident of Kawuku near Gaba which is one of the 12 parishes making Kabalagala Division.
Before a casually dressed Ham could even announce his donation, the crowd began booing and protesting why the MC had allowed him to speak. “We don’t want. We don’t want,” they heckled as one of the organizers ran to the microphone pleading with them to let the rich man talk.
As the heckling intensified, mostly by those seated at the back of the hall, a popular artiste walked in, something that diverted the attention from Ham who cut his speech short to escape the hostility from the audience. People in the audience kept protesting he had no moral authority to address them since the Park Yard events showed he was anti-poor the very people Gen Kale was seeking to reach out to.
Speaking later on, Kayihura himself was to indirectly pronounce himself on this when he told Kwagalana members present that: “Let me tell my dear the police friends seated up here. We must work together to elevate the poor from their poverty and wealth creation and development should be our next priority since we have clearly overcome crime in this Division. Community policing model isn’t about police arresting criminals but the preventive approach. We all stand to benefit and have sustainable peace once everybody is financially okay. If you live in Muyenga as a rich man, you aren’t secure when you have the poor next door in Namuwongo. That security would be deceptive.”
As he made this point, some youngmen in the audience kept shouting “that is Ham tell him.”
According to police records, Kabalagala Division has 200,000 residents of whom 45,000 are registered jobless crime preventers. Kayihura begged Kwagalana group members to use their business experiences and acumen to mentor them to form successful SACCOs as Museveni has been asking them to.
“Can you imagine if Mzee Kirumira & Co could help us mentor and inspire these people on how to succeed? We have 50,000 crime preventers and if each contributed Shs10,000 you would instantly have a bank of Shs500m and that is what our President wants. He comes and puts in money and you begin borrowing at almost zero interest,” said Gen Kale showing disgust about the wide spread begging by the young people.
“We have done many things in police which my peers in security thought we couldn’t. This is why I believe working with Kwagalana, we can help these young people become wealth creators,” said Kayihura flanked by his right hand man Frank Mwesigwa of KMP.
“I’m not a businessman but Mzee Kirumira you are the people who know these things please come in and help our President on this. It’s not about money but guidance and advice to these young people. We need them to succeed because they are our children,” he said before calling Kirumira to say something.
“There is so much we can do for them as Kwagalana because we have the money but the problem they are dishonest and disorganized yet we can’t let down Gen Kayihura because he has always been there for us providing security here and in South Sudan. For the start we have 5,000 jobs my son Ham there is going to create rebuilding Nakivubo stadium alone. He will need 5,000 builders and will be taking many of these young people just for you Gen Kayihura. It’s the least we can do to reciprocate the transformation you have caused in police,” Kirumira said.
Kayihura also introduced “my friends the musicians” begging Kwagalana to mentor them on how to make money and sustain a good life.
“My friends here the musicians are very popular but we need to help them on survival because I see each time they come to me, they are badly off for survival. Let’s help on their survival,” Kayihura said as he signaled Ziza Bafana to join the table where Kirumira & Co were sitting.
Ham and others indifferently looked at Bafana and Kirumira later explained: “Mr. IGP we really fear these people, the musicians. We have tried to bring them closer showing them how to succeed but they are very chaotic. They have a lot of intrigue and are ever punching each other. This is why my members fear and can’t bring them closer but if they can change their attitude we have no problem. Our doors are open to them.”
At this point, Gen Kale told Bafana “my friend you can see I have done my work. I have connected you and it’s up to you to maintain the network.”
Commending the Nsambya Catholic parish that always avails police the Gogonya grounds free of charge, Gen Kale proposed MoUs regularizing partnerships between police and Catholic Church which has a lot of influence on the youths.
Referring to area DPC Mugerwa, the Kwagalana tycoons urged IGP to stop the habit of frequently transferring DPCs and other police leaders.
“Now our son Mugerwa has done a good job and you may promote him soon but kindly leave him in Kabalagala Division. Don’t take him away let’s keep consolidating what we have so far achieved with him,” Kirumira pleaded with Kale.
A group of area traders (not necessarily Kwagalana) led by Allen Nakisozi Mugwanya donated a Bible to Gen Kale urging him to read Isaiah 40 and Deuteronomy 28.
In the same spirit, Kenrock Hotel owners donated motorcycles to promote police work and patrol operations in Kibuli parish.
Specifically to DPC Mugerwa and his team, Gen Kale said: “You have now become a model Division and one to which other DPCs will be referred for benchmarking but please don’t relax. Don’t become complacent. This is reason for you to work even harder.”