By Mulengera Reporters
The newly created Kyotera district has been engulfed in very intriguing wars between LC5 Chairman Patrick Kintu Kisekulo on one hand and Minister Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo (also area MP) on the other.
At the heart of the feud is the Shs700m central government is allocating (for FY2019/20) to finance service delivery and construct befitting headquarters for the new district that was curved off Rakai and began operating in 2017.
Whereas Kisekulo and the district council want the Shs700m prioritized towards completion of district headquarters in Kasali Township, Kasolo wants it invested in Sub Counties in his Kyotera County to the total exclusion of projects in MP Christopher Kalemba’s Kakuto County.
Claiming he is the one who lobbied for the money using his clout as one of the State Ministers at Finance, Kasolo wants it distributed as follows: Shs100m for bridges in Kirumba Sub County; Shs100m for the roadside market in Kasali Sub County; Shs100m for roadside market in Kabira Sub County; Shs150m for maternity ward in Nabigasa Sub County and Shs100m for the construction of Sub County headquarters for Kalisizo rural.
Kasolo says the LC5 Chairman used the last week Kyotera district Council meeting to mobilize councilors to block the passing of the budget in order to frustrate the above financial allocations. He accuses Kintu Kisekulo of manipulating the CAO to block the above interventions but the Minister doesn’t disclose any reason for Kisekulo’s malicious conduct. Kasolo, who is in his 2nd term as MP and defected from opposition to join NRM having seen a vacuum created by departure of the likes of Maria Mutagamba, has vowed to use his political clout to make sure Kisekulo’s sabotage is defeated.
Kasolo urges residents in the above affected Sub Counties to demand answers from their councilors at to why they didn’t stand up to Kintu Kisekulo and frustrate his mischief. The Junior Microfinance Minister, who politically is under intense pressure from the People Power camp, urges voters to politically punish their councilors for failing to stand up to enemies of development in Kyotera district. He says he is happy that, having pretended for long, Kintu Kisekulo has finally been exposed as Kyotera’s number one enemy of development.
LC5 BOSS SPEAKS OUT
Mulengera News rang LC5 Chairman Patrick Kintu Kisekulo who disputed Kasolo’s narrative. The tough-talking son of late Kyotera tycoon, Kintu said Kasolo had become a selfish politician only obsessed with his own reelection for 3rd term even if that means sacrificing the rest of the NRM cadres. “I’m the one who brought him and made him MP the first time he contested but I can tell you that this isn’t the Kasolo I knew. The one I supported was a team player and believed in collective victory. The one we have today has become so greedy and all he is after now is his own reelection. He doesn’t care even about the President. Even if NRM is defeated in Kyotera as long as he remains MP, the rest don’t matter,” said Kintu. “How else do you explain someone who wants all the money to go to Kyotera County yet the district has Kakuto County also? Are the people of Kakuto not voters of NRM? He has put me in big problems and everybody is against me in the Council saying because you are from Kyotera, you are sidelining Kakuto.”
Kisekulo explained that much better leadership and fairness is expected of Kasolo because as the NRM Chairman for the entire district, he must be accountable to voters in both Counties and not just one. “Remember he is the only minister we have in Kyotera and he is also party chairman yet he wants to totally exclude Kakuto to appease voters in Kyotera to get reelected. But I’m the district chairman that budgeting is my mandate and not his as Minister.”
Kisekulo accused Kasolo of abusively using his position as State Minister at Finance to manipulate the Ministry staff to allocate the cash to the Sub Counties in a manner that distorts district priorities as agreed upon by all leaders. “We are the ones who wrote to Finance and asked for the money. It’s not him because that isn’t his mandate but we were shocked our priorities were distorted in the Ministry to suit Hon Kasolo’s own interests. Now everybody is up in arms against what he did. Hon Kalemba of Kakuto and his predecessor Hon Kasamba are all bitter thinking I’m the one excluding Kakuto.”
Kintu Kisekulo also explained the dilemma he now faces as the duly elected LC5 chairman with mandate to equally serve both Kakuto and Kyotera Counties. “Just imagine my Speaker, Vice Chairman and Finance Secretary are all from Kakuto. How do you expect them to pass a budget that totally excludes their electors? What I’m I supposed to do as Chairman? I went to council and explained but my explanation wasn’t accepted. There is no way they can understand and accept that unfairness. We need the money and I can’t be so dense to chase away money meant for my people. That is the false impression Hon Kasolo is trying to create. How do you go bragging you are the one who brought the money? Does it mean other districts which don’t have finance ministers don’t get allocated money? That is a lie and you journalists should expose him as a liar,” Kisekulo ranted via telephone.
Mulengera News separately established that even Kyotera woman MP Robinah Sentongo is equally furious about the distortions Kasolo is causing into the budgeting process. It’s also understood that Kasolo hasn’t been on good terms with many district NRM leaders since the last woman MP elections when his favored candidate Racheal Nakitende was rejected and he got condemned for imposing her on the party fraternity. Members revenged by enmassely voting for DP’s Sentongo, something that politically angered Museveni because, according Gen Henry Tumukunde and Vincent Sempijja, he always took Kyotera as the undisputed stronghold of his NRM in greater Masaka.
Kisekulo says that, whereas supporting the above Sub Counties isn’t a bad idea, as a district their priority in the FY2019/20 is completion of district headquarters which had stalled due to failure to pay the contractor. He says the entire administration block requires Shs1bn and the contractor has done much of the work but can’t continue until his balances are paid.
“The man has so far spent a lot on the project yet we have only paid him Shs350m on a job of Shs1bn. Just imagine the balance and we must pay or else he will sue us and we lose money,” Kisekulo explained. He says the incomplete structure is now susceptible to being damaged by the heavy rains yet tax payer’s money is already sunk there. His view is that project must be completed first and the rest of the work in the Sub Counties (important as it is) can be done later.
Kintu also says the road side markets Kasolo wants them to spend on don’t yield much value for money for the taxpayer and he gives his reasons. “He wants us to build one at Kasali but Kasali is already being well served by Kyotera Town Council because there is proximity between them. They even have no land where to situate the market. He wants another one in Kabira but even if we put it there, there won’t be much because people are poor and there isn’t much economic activity to make it viable. We put one at Nsambya [trading center] and Shs100m was sunk but the market isn’t working and we realize this was unnecessary expenditure,” he explained.
He says their relationship with Kasolo soured when the Minister tried to patronize him like a little boy. “He reached the extent of ordering me not to do any project in the district until I first consult and get his views. I refused that patronage and I told him sir ‘look here I have my mandate as LC5 Chairman who was elected by the people and I have my own programs.’ Why treat me like a child? He said even I shouldn’t work on roads until I get his approval,” reminisces Kintu Kisekulo.
BAD NEWS FOR NRM
Yet ironically it’s these petty differences that could see Museveni’s NRM totally obliterated in Kyotera by the very determined DP squad whose coordinators are already riding on Bobi Wine’s People Power wave to present stronger candidates to send both Kasolo and Kisekulo to the political oblivion come 2021. Already because of modest urbanization and the history of being a DP-leaning community, Kyotera residents are generally apprehensive towards NRM and Bobi’s People Power is evidently the only spark that was lacking to galvanize the opposition and obliterate the NRM in 2021.
It will be recalled that the moniker Senyondo, which Col Kizza Besigye adopted during the 2001 campaigns, was first given to him by anti-regime mechanics outside Kyotera town. “We are going to wipe them out because even Kasolo first became a household name because voters initially perceived him as a rebel NRM MP and his departure falling into bed with mainstream NRM is something many voters have never come to terms with. We have now rebranded ourselves as People Power once we have joint candidates, we are going to wipe NRM out of Kyotera,” one of the local DP diehards told Mulengera News. (For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755 or email us at email@example.com).