The dark skinned guy cleared with security before me. He then rushed to enter the lift whose doors were ajar. He was in such a hurry one would think he was rushing to the a labour room to see his first born.
The lift door closed shutting him off my sight. Seconds later, the lift door opened; the dark skinned guy looked straight into my eyes and beckoned: ‘Asuman, let’s go’.
‘So, you know me’, I asked the stranger? ‘My name is Charles. Charles Ouma’, he responded rather flatly. More strange, Charles and I were going to the same floor; and oh yes, to the same office.
We found the big man slouching on sofa. He stood up and hugged me. And then, even before greeting Ouma, he said: “Charles, this man here will solve all your political problems. He is a witch. He can change water into milk.” Ouma was the director-legal at KCCA (responsible for contracts, procurement and disposal of assets).
I know Ms Evelyn Anite. She was my workmate somewhere in President’s Office. On Monday, Ms Anite, a junior minister at Finance, called a news conference at which she expressed a threat to her life.
Ms Anite’s news conference was what people in intelligence services call ‘insurance’. She had heard that the Inspectorate of Government was going to probe her. And as an ‘insurance’ policy, she publicly claimed there were people (in government) plotting to assassinate her.
As someone whose entire adult life has revolved around politics and the military, I would like to advise Ms Anite that proximity to the President is not enough for career projection. In addition to having the President’s ear, one has to have a good working relationship with colleagues (under whatever circumstances).
In fact a good working relationship with colleagues is more important than having the President’s ear.
Ms Anite is a fighter. But in this fight, she needs the hand of a witch like me. I can confidently say even Mr Museveni’s intervention won’t be of much help to her.
Let’s return to KCCA’s s Ouma. He later secured me a meeting with Ms Jeniffer Ssemakula Musisi, the venerable executive director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
Jennifer Musisi briefed me on KCCA’s issues in great detail. And I told her that my ‘assignment’ was to assess the political impact of her executive actions. “I am also supposed to suggest mitigation actions,” I added.
I advised her not to weaponise her proximity to the President. And that orders of the appointing authority (written or verbal) are as good as the law allows; beyond the law, it will always be her to account. I told her that where I come from, the President must at all times be protected from his mistakes.
At that time, the biggest issue at KCCA was Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago’s choice of Deputy Mayor. Given what Ms Musisi had told me, I advised her to immediately ‘allow’ Mr Sulaiman Kidandala to be as Deputy Mayor. She refused. Clearly, my witchcraft was a no seller here; but the confusion that followed is well known. And as I write this, Ms Musisi (and all her directors) left KCCA.
Ms Anite would have first addressed her issues to her seniors at Finance. If that failed, she would have gone to the Prime Minister (as the Dean of Cabinet).The ‘we had majje’ remark attributed to her in 2017 has alienated her from public sympathy (although the public acknowledges she is dealing with bullies). She is said to have no friends in Cabinet (even at Finance). In the circumstances, Mr Museveni can only shift her to another docket. Otherwise tuswala…!
Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of East African Flagpost.