The arrogance of UTODA has gone far, and it has caused enough damage to the country. Someone has to be in control. it is disappointing to learn that UTODA business is going to be one of the undoings between the would be good relation between Erias Lukwago the Lord mayor and the Executive Director madam Musisi. Musisi is in for State House business and this is to cause real problems instead of solving. When Lukwago asks for Financial documents regarding UTODA, he is right as any Ugandan would. The problem is that UTODA is operating beyond the contract terms and they assume not only the roles of the Ministry, but they are involved in Policing to the extent that their members have been seen beat people in broad day light! It is sad, that these things go on and the powers that be are taken to be ignorant. What we see is possible evidence that UTODA finances some statehouse business that is why they are seen as untouchable, and Mr. Museveni must know that Ugandans deserve better services, they may not be able to get him out of his sweat chair but he should have the people of Uganda at heart. We`are fed up of those Ugandans who because they have State House coonnections keep on bragging as the country sinks yet as they lot. Without some of the levies by UTODA, it is certain the charges would be lower. Why does UTODA assume powers that don't belong to them. Let people who understand planning plan for our city. We want the city decongested and it is not UTODa to do the work. The planners have to and UTODA should just take instructions, not to do the stupid of going to State House when their bosses are the Kampala Lord mayor who has the mandate of the people of Kampala. UTODa before fooling around should first ensure that they religiously pay what is due to Kampala City Council and then they can give the balance to whoever they wish as well as put on bigger berries if they wish.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
ONLY MUSEVENI CAN UPROOT US
Daggers have clearly been sharpened, and battle lines drawn. What is remaining now is a full blown war between Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and the Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA).
After Lukwago puffed and huffed, swearing to terminate UTODA's money-minting taxi park tenders, the managers of the taxi body have dared the Lord Mayor to walk the threat, if he is really man enough.
"We are ready to fight and die in the parks," UTODA's supremo Hajj Moses Katongole declared amidst thunderous cheers, as he addressed taxi drivers and guides on Monday this week.
Katongole had called an impromptu meeting at Nsambya's Youth Sharing Hall, to counter Lukwago's threats. The meeting came hot on the heals of another meeting for taxi drivers held last week in which the drivers expressed anger over exploitative charges levied by UTODA.
Flanked by his deputy Chris Ssengooba, Katongole said they did not need the clearance of Lukwago to manage the parks, reminding him that the highest authority in the land-- the President-- has always blessed their presence in the park.
Katongole's foregoing statement brings out what is largely known -- which is that State House is the God father of UTODA, the reason the taxi body has managed to hold onto the tender for as long as Museveni has been in power , the public protests not withstanding.
Katongole reminded Lukwago that they had survived many mayors at City Hall before, and that UTODA will "surely outlive him," as well.
Other UTODA officials said they were ready to work with Lukwago if he gives up his belligerent attitude towards them.
Show of influence
In a bid to alienate him from his members and by extension weaken his hold on the taxi park business--, Lukwago called a meeting of taxi drivers, owners and guides at City Hall, "to tell him the problems they encounter in their day to day work."
Katongole reacted angrily to Lukwago's move, reminding him he had to go through UTODA to summon their members. Lukwago had snubbed UTODA by not including them on his invitees list.
By calling a meeting of taxi drivers and guides-- a few days after Lukwago's meeting-- Katongole wanted to show the world that he still calls shots at the taxi parks.
He also wanted to let the drivers and guides know that they hobnobbed with Lukwago at their own risk since UTODA was not going anywhere soon.
In fact, Katongole did good mobilization work of his members going by the big turn up at Nsambya sharing hall. He threw a sumptuous lunch for drivers and guides who attended- what turned out to be a PR meeting. They washed the heavy lunch with soft drinks, in which they literally swam.
True to the adage: When you want to melt an African's heart give him food, at the end of the day, all drivers and guides were singing Katongole's name vowing to deal with whoever messed with him.
Musisi softens on UTODA
City Hall insiders claim the Executive Director Jennifer Musisi Ssemakula has since softened her hard-line stance on UTODA, leaving Lukwago with a high mountain to climb alone.
Our sources reveal that Musisi changed her stance, following directives from State House to go slow on UTODA-- which is a cash cow for the ruling NRM party.
Katongole's boastful tone-- he stated UTODA did not need the clearance of Lukwago to manage the parks-is further proof that UTODA may just be too hard to crack.