By Isaac Mutema
The minister of works and transport, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, is learning rather rudely and faster that managing such a much-sought-after docket isn’t a walk in the park.
One of the immediate outgoing handlers of the ministry and whom Wamala succeeded, Eng Ibrahim Byandaala, ended up languishing in jail over the politics involved in who was politically right to manage the construction of the equally politically live-wire Mukono-Kyetume, Katosi, Nyenga road.
Byandaala said he was only a sacrificial lamb since he found the tender already negotiated by powerful forces to be given out to a reportedly bogus Eutaw Construction company.
What Byandaala says makes a bit of sense since he was hurriedly directed to sign the contract in favour of Eutaw on the basis that the president badly required the road works to start to benefit from the support of the beneficiaries of the highway during the 2016 election that was peeping.
Yet, when everything had finally gone wrong with the company given the job, Byandaala was now blamed for giving out the tender without carrying out due diligence against Eutaw.
In short, a few fall guys such as some staff at the Uganda roads agency referred to as UNRA would be now arrested and joined together with Byandaala and Ssenkeeto– the man behind Eutaw–, to now be the ones to face the music.
By appointing Gen Wamala to the strategic ministry, the Commander-in-Chief, President Yoweri Museveni sought to get a military man to whom he could militarily issue orders and which he wouldn’t be expected to disobey being a serving military officer.
Wamala’s biggest litmus test would arrive after the president developed the feelings of pushing a few people at the national airliner. But let me get this shorter one of the way. Wamala is currently under intense fire for rejecting Museveni’s choice of Joy Kabatsi as the chair board of Uganda railways.
Museveni wants to have trusted confidants in railways since some massive loans have been since secured to refurbish the railway line. To humiliate Wamala as nothing, his deputy Fred Muhumuza has since been instructed to drum up Kabatsi’s candidature and even to tell Wamala that the boss can’t be disobeyed.
The inspector of government, Betty Kamya who had been given some employment after running from the opposition, was accordingly told to find an excuse for arresting and prosecuting the Airliner’s expatriate CEO, Cornwell Muleya.
That was done to create a vacancy which some candidate was now waiting in the wings to move in and fill up.
A clueless Wamala now unaware totally of the politics involved in the firing of Muleya, sadly purportedly used his power as the minister responsible to fork out close to Shs100m to a private company to conduct interviews for the recruitment of a new CEO.
As the process went on, the president now wrote to Wamala to introduce his candidate Jennifer Bamutaraki.
Utterly spellbound by the boss’ fresh revelations by the president which were alien to the ongoing search for the CEO, Wamala now decided to purport to use his borrowed powers as a minister to sit on the president’s letter.
Wamala had up to this point in time been deluding himself to be a minister vested with powers to run his ministry, yet the truth was that he was meant to be a puppet as a soldier who was ideally supposed to unquestionably carry out orders as routinely issued out by the Commander-in-Chief.
After sitting on his letter, Museveni contacted his servant to now order him to swiftly do as he had instructed him earlier and leave the rest to him.
Still rebellious, Wamala refused to sign the appointment letter and directed instead the board of the airline to sign it. Museveni left Katumba and his stubbornness alone since he had, after all, secured what he wanted.
Katumba has since appeared before the parliament’s committee of Cosase and told the chair, Joel Ssenyonyi, to forget about changing Museveni’s position on Bamuturaki since the old man is dead serious about seeing his choice at the summit of the airliner.
We told to you that anyone can huff and puff, but Kaguta will prevail and so will his choice in Bamuturaki. Already, Wamala has learned to coil his tail behind his legs and not to stupidly bark at lions and still counting.