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THAT’S RUBBISH & KATEMBA: Museveni Minister Breaks Silence on Alleged Plot to ‘Assassinate’ Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago Over Roads Money

Minister Kabuye Kyofatogabye and Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. Courtesy Photos

Kabuye Kyofatogabye, the Minister of State (junior) for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs has spoken out on allegations that he had threatened Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. On May 11, the Lord Mayor told Parliament’s Physical Infrastructure Committee that he believed his life was in danger after receiving a text message from Minister Kyofatogabye.

Lukwago asked Kigorobya County MP David Karubanga, the Chairperson of the Physical Infrastructure Committee, and the entire institution of Parliament to intervene and save him from being finished off by the Museveni appointee.

The Lord Mayor, who doubles as the Deputy President of opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), and deputizes opposition strongman Dr Kizza Besigye in a number of defiance campaigns, further told the committee that he knew that things were getting serious when “a whole minister sent me threats.”

He went on to note that he was shocked to receive an SMS message from Kyofatogabye, a man from whom he had never received a message, for the time he has been Kampala Lord Mayor. In the message, which he claims was sent on April 27, the Museveni minister expressed his disappointment with Lukwago’s “senseless wars,” asked him if he was not contented with his job, advised him to analyze Kampala issues in a better way and made it clear that he was ready for a fight.

According to Lukwago, Kyofatogabye’s message read: “Lord Mayor, when shall you stop useless wars? I am the minister and [you] are the Lord Mayor. Are you not comfortable with your position? I am ready to fight to the end, you know me when I decide to fight. My brother, learn to always sieve certain things and end useless wars.”

Shaken by the minister’s declaration of fighting him “to the end,” Lukwago emphasized to Karubanga and his colleagues on the committee that such threats were “a very serious matter.” He continue to say that as far as he was concerned, “this is getting out of hand.” He also argued that the bad blood between him and the minister seemed to have stemmed from multi-billion city infrastructure contracts and money. Lukwago recently claimed that the costs of roads under Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) were inflated to benefit some corrupt officials.

“Tomorrow, you will see bullets raining on me and you don’t know the reason. I would like Parliament to pick interest in this matter,” said Lukwago. “If it was about political fights, I would say that these are things we are used to but he is relating the matter to roads as he had stated that I would not have access to contracts. He said it was over his dead body.”

Minister Kyotafogabye has since been quoted as telling Daily Monitor that Lukwago’s claims constituted ‘rubbish’ and ‘katemba [comedy/drama].’ Although he has not denied sending the SMS to Lukwago, in his view, the first-time Museveni minister thinks that Lukwago is blowing things out of proportion, and using the same to cover up for his decades-long failures as Kampala Lord Mayor.

“The issue of the Lord Mayor’s [theatrical] behavior over his tricks of construction of roads in the city began with me calling Members of Parliament to come and we find solutions with mechanism of setting up a roads committee since Mr Lukwago who has been at the helm of the city for 20 years has never thought of electing a committee in charge of road maintenance,” Kyofatogabye told the independent daily.

“When I told him about it, he turns this [as] a threat to his life. That’s total rubbish and Katemba (drama) from him… Lord Mayor should relax and stop seeking for political and public sympathy.”

Lukwago is not the first high profile politician or official to claim that his life was in danger. Months ago, Speaker Anita Among claimed that some people were trailing her with a plan to kill her. (See Details Here).

Just recently, the head of Uganda’s Human Rights Commission shocked the nation when she claimed that her life was in danger because some of her commissioners come to meetings with guns.  (See Details Here).

An NRM activist named Ivan Majambere has also been claiming that some people want to kill him. But some in the MK Movement, particularly deputy spokesperson David Kabanda, have dismissed the threats against Majambere, saying he just wants to blackmail President Museveni to give him money and bodyguards. (See Details Here).

But in recent years, the country has witnessed assassinations, some of them preceded by reporting of death threats. The latest assassination is that of controversial vlogger Isma Olaxes aka Jajja Iculi. (See Details Here).

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