Big Interview: “Anita Among will be Museveni’s puppet,” says Nyanjura

Big Interview: “Anita Among will be Museveni’s puppet,” says Nyanjura

Last week, the Bukedea Woman MP Anita Annet Among was elected the new Speaker of the 11th Parliament replacing Jacob Oulanyah who died in a hospital in Seattle, in the US.

Among becomes the second female to occupy the position after Rebecca Kadaga.

In an interview with the reporters, Doreen Nyanjura, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Kampala said she does not expect much from the new leadership of Parliament because Among has demonstrated that she is not a unifier.

The country is currently mourning Jacob Oulanyah. What do you remember about him?

He was an all-round person. I liked his sense of humour that if you go to sports,you will find him there.There is a way he used to connect with people. If you go to church, you will find him there. He could easily interact with people of all classes although I have not had an opportunity to see him work as a speaker. I only saw him acting as a deputy speaker chairing some sessions in Parliament.

How are you progressing as the Deputy Lord Mayor?

Being a deputy lord mayor is challenging. Being a leader in Uganda is challenging given the fact that we have a country where institutions are not respected. We have a country where laws are not respected, so it’s challenging but for me I understand that leadership moves hand in hand with challenges. If you are in a position of leadership and you don’t meet challenges, then you are probably in the wrong place.

Some people claim that you and your boss Erias Lukwago are only good at complaining other than delivering services to transform the city.

For me, it’s not necessarily the blame game because I am here to regulate and I am here to make policies that I have ably done. People think Kampala is an island that if things are failing elsewhere, they expect things to be working in Kampala.

If you go to a health centre upcountry and there is no medicine, people think there should be medicine in Kampala but we are all working under one government.

Recently I got so bitter and I told voters, it is high time I am going to leave the comfort of my office, I am going to remove my suits and join you on the streets because they are crying and I am also crying.

What plans do you have to make Kampala an inclusive city?

This is how the city can be inclusive, for example if there is some money for women, can that money start going to the women who are not connected?

Because KCCA will tell you that there is money and this money has been given to some groups but when you do a random sampling, you will hardly find a woman who actually received the money from KCCA.

We have the PWDS and I am actually going to start a campaign on their behalf {whose rights aren’t considered in terms of accessing the building, parking lots.

The grant given to them is less yet they need to be equipped with skills. These are small things which don’t require a lot of money.

I told you KCCA as only 10 functional garbage trucks, the biggest percentage of garbage collecting garbage are private companies who are largely looking at making money.

50% of Kampala is a slum and KCCA is supposed to collect garbage free of charge from these slums.

So give us more money to procure more garbage trucks so that we are able to go and collect garbage from the slums.

More than 40% of the garbage generated remains within the people, it is not collected.

Let the central government increase more money, for me that is what it means.

You have talked about the inclusiveness of urban poor; does this mean that you are for a disorganised city?

Now for us we have a strategic plan, we believe in a city that is going to be sustainable but the major word there is inclusivity. So no one is against a smart city but you cannot tell me that you want a smart city when KCCA has only ten functional garbage trucks.

I think now they might have reduced to seven. You can’t tell me that you want a smart city and yet you are not providing alternatives for these vendors.

We have a strategic plan and I believe in a city that is going to be sustainable. No one is against a smart city.

Our call as policy makers has been appealing to the central government to create more spaces for the growing number of the urban poor.

I want you to look at Kampala, it has 16 government markets and 68 private markets. Some government markets are in a sorry state; these cannot accommodate growing numbers. We should have a model market for each division, for starters.

These lockups aren’t benefiting those that are supposed to benefit apart from the middle men involved.

How far is the street ordinance?

This street ordinance is still in the pipeline and we are actually still making amendments to it. We have done all the consultations, next it is supposed to be sent to the Attorney General so that it is implemented.

What is the current relationship between the politicians and the technocrats at KCCA because previously there were unending wrangles at the authority?

I think each term comes with its challenges? For now, we have been facing most of our controversies from the RCC. For now, I think the executive director has tried to respect the KCCA Act. I think for now she has kept in her lane and as long as she keeps in her lane knowing the lord mayor is the political head, really we have no business with her.

Are you now happy that Hudu Hussein, who has been causing chaos in the city as you claim, has been transferred to Yumbe?

Hudu is a young man with a future behind him. Him and I are in the same age bracket. I can’t say I am happy, I am simply concerned that a young man like Hudu who has a future behind him has been transferred to Yumbe and the entire city was celebrating, that makes me concerned.

In our culture here when someone goes down, we expect people to stand with you, we don’t expect people to jubilate. You cannot run the city as a terrorist, you were deployed here to save the people.

You cannot start beating the hell out of them. You are a servant of the people. For me I thought Hudu had learnt some lessons from Eric Sakwa but I was wrong.

In your view, do you think Anita Among, the newly elected Speaker of Parliament will be in position to ensure equitable debate, service delivery and unity in the institution?

Anita has already demonstrated that she is not a unifier. Anita has already demonstrated that she is going to run the House as her personal home and that is why when she got annoyed with Francis Zaake, you know what happened to Zaake. I am told in Parliament; you don’t have to annoy the speaker because if you annoy her you can never be given an opportunity to say something . You have to be so good to the speaker. For me, she’s just going to be Museveni’s puppet, I don’t really expect much from her.

You are always attacked by NUP supporters on social media. What is the problem?

For me, I will always be attacked. For me when something is wrong it is wrong and when something is right it is right. Of course, NUP continues to attack me. I don’t know why maybe they are insecure.There are some individuals who think I am a threat. There are those who accused me that I always used to attack Bobi Wine before the 2021 elections. NUP supporters failed to differentiate between competition and enmity. There is no way I could support Bobi Wine when I had a candidate in that race. By not supporting Bobi Wine it doesn’t mean I hate him, it’s just that I don’t agree with some of his methods of work. You need to ask them why they hate me.

Why can’t the opposition unite to remove President Museveni?

I believe in one struggle but different fronts. I have given people different examples. We have had incidents where we have united as opposition for instance during Mabira demonstration, Togikwatako. Uniting political parties is a bit hard because has its own objectives. We need a platform and I think for a long time we have tried to create that. Currently we have the People’s Front for Transition.

Red Card Front is a coalition of the willing. I don’t agree with fighting one another but I have no problem with NUP staying where they are and also playing their part.

There are claims that NRM is planning to amend the Constitution to have the president elected by Parliament. What is your take?

That is part of Muhoozi’s project. There are other countries where that system works. In Uganda, it is not being brought in good faith. It is being brought because they are bringing a candidate who is unpopular whether it is going to be Museveni or his son Muhoozi but largely I think is going to be Muhoozi. Muhoozi has also been rejected. Going through parliament will be a shortcut for him, so it’s not in good faith.

As one of the leaders in FDC, what is the party planning ahead of the 2026 general election?

FDC is up to many things. FDC is doing underground mobilisation and I think recently you saw some of our leaders in Kasese and the other week we were supposed to be in Northern Uganda still to mobilise our structures unfortunately with the death of Oulanyah, we thought it was wrong to continue with mobilisation because people are mourning.

What are your political ambitions as we head to 2026?

My political ambition is to see that we have a change in this country. My political ambition has never been about positions. What will change if I go to that Parliament? Whether I am Lord Mayor, whether I am a member of Parliament before anything else, I am an activist. These other positions are secondary. I am not mobilising to go to parliament. I advocate for change and mobilising for the defeat of the dictator.

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