Monday August 25 2014

I am ready to work with Museveni - Jinja mayor

Mr Mohammed Baswari Kezaala, Jinja Mayor

Mr Mohammed Baswari Kezaala 

By Ivan Okuda

It is possible for a leader from the Opposition to work with President Museveni, lead an NRM-dominated council and still deliver services to his electorate, the mayor of Jinja has said.

Mr Mohammed Baswari Kezaala, the Democratic Party (DP) national chairperson, made the remark last Friday as he called an end to “cheap politics and in-fighting” that has for years curtailed development in Jinja.

Mr Kezaala told journalists as he launched a campaign dubbed ‘let’s work’ that several development projects that would have transformed the district “have been shot down by people who did not want him to take the credit”.

Mr Kezaala was impeached in 2007, only to return after a court battle. He said he will reach out to his political opponents, mainly from the ruling party, including the President, for the sake of working together for a better Jinja.

“When I work with Museveni, I am working with him as President of Uganda and not chairman of NRM. We all know that for us to get city status, he has to consent so we have to work with him without me losing my DP principles. It is a change of tactics but the principles remain the same,” the mayor said.

However, the mayor emphasised that the move should not be misread to mean he has been compromised.

Mr Kezaala said because of his new approach, plans are now underway to have Kimaka Air Strip upgraded into an airport as an alternative to Entebbe International Airport.

This is in addition to a car assembly plant and ship yard where a Dutch company is in advanced stages of setting up a vessels’ assembly in Masese, Jinja.

Asked what advice he has for embattled Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Mr Kezaala said: “Lukwago has to fight on because the people of Kampala gave him that seat. I was treated the same way, I was impeached illegally in 2007, I challenged it and the court order was disregarded.”