The cold war between President Museveni and the Lord Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago continues to excite many. President Museveni while addressing the passing out of NRM cadres in Kampala openly faulted Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago for having been the root cause of poverty that is eating on the people of Kampala whether this cannot be proved by the President is another contentious matter. Mr. Museveni went ahead to challenge Lukwago and he said; “Lukwago cannot beat me” a statement that many commentators say may lead to a head on political battle for the two men as we head to 2016.
Mr. Lukwago is the elected Lord Mayor of Kampala; his office has been the center of contention since he was sworn to serve his electorate. Responding to Mr. Museveni, Lukwago said;
You dragged the entire nation to a devastating five year guerilla war ostensibly to restore the people’s sovereignty.
This statement is two edged; first, Lukwago sounds to be answering Mr. Museveni that he took the whole country to war that has turned out to have been an unnecessary war, it is also suggestive in a way that there was another option that Mr. Museveni and his group could have turned rather than dragging the nation into a five year war. On another part, Lukwago seems to be saying with due respect Mr. President; you are the author of this poverty that the people of Kampala are suffering from.
In the second point that Lukwago seems to be highlighting is that Mr. Museveni went to the bush to restore the people’s sovereignty, but he has turned around and pounced on the people’s right to determine their leaders. This can be seen in more of Lukwago’s words in his statement while responding to Mr. Museveni;
“The Statement you made recently that your government poured water into the office of the Lord Mayor, and that what is left of the same is mere padlocks and chains was constructed by many Ugandans as a tacit admission of being the author of the current political gridlock in Kampala.”
Mr. Lukwago has made it a public secret that he is at a legal war with Mr. Museveni, but whether the recent statement made by the president has anything to do with the Lord Mayor’s woes in the courts of law also come as a clue to those who have not been following the longest court battle in Uganda’s history.
In another part of Mr. Lukwago’s statement, he makes clear to Mr. Museveni that he is being protected by the immunity conferred to the office of the President, but all his acts are treasonable;
“But for the immunity conferred onto your office, it’s treasonable under article 2 of the Constitution as it smacked of a coup de tat.”
Mr. Museveni has always stated that Erias Lukwago cannot be Lord Mayor a statement that has compelled many to ask Mr. Lukwago to ‘reconcile’ with him so that he can be able to return to the office of the Lord Mayor. Lukwago has nothing against the person of Museveni and there is no reason why he should even apologise or reconcile with him. Mr. Museveni must learn to work with people of other shades of opinion as stakeholder in the nation building and also he must learn to agree with his political party loses an electoral contest.
In the last part of Mr. Lukwago’s statement he reminds the President that it is not presidential to pounce on a man whose office and power you have usurped. It was wise for Mr. Museveni to rally Ugandans to embrace census exercise and tell them the importance of it.