The first director of Kampala Capital City Authority Ms Jennifer Semakula Musisi is all over the news with her much needed reforms in the city. First she kicked out the controversial but naive politician and former Mayor Nasser Ntege Ssebagala from the Town Clerk's office.
Before Sebaggala could understand what had denied him the house which President Museveni had given him as a reward for betraying his party [DP] and the Opposition, Ms Musisi went for another big one--Gen. David Tinyefuza, the cordinator of Intelligence Services.
This time, she wants the controversial military General to vacate the house that was meant for the city health Inspector.
The General is not giving in. Ms Musisi seems undeterred . And the debate rages on about who will win and who is right.
Most say Ms Musisi is right and will win. Some say she is right but will not win. I believe she is right. I suspect she will will not win and if she wins, her win will open a floodgate to her suffering.
Here is why.
The war Ms Musisi is fighting is not a KCCA war. I guess you now think I am crazy. May be yes. May be not.
Ms Musisi is fighting a serious military High Command war. She appears to be used by forces beyond her understanding. Gen. Tinyefuza was "given" the house by Gen. Kahinda Otafiire who was then the local government minister. Otafiire of course acted outside the law. But do UPDF Generals really care about the law? If only to dupe some gullible Ugandans, yes.
Gen. Otafiire and Gen. Tinyefuza and most of the High Command are unfriendly to the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. The High Command believes that Mbabazi was eating sausages and misappropriating assistance to the NRA rebels during the bush war. Infact they reportedly sentenced Mbabazi to death by firing squad.
The rift between Mbabazi and the military arm has continued to exist until today. What is worrying, is that the High Command believes Mbabazi has been given more than he deserves by the President.
Mbabazi believes he is an organiser of the party while the Generals are subversive.
In this rift, Museveni has used both parties to his advantage.
So, when Mbabazi contested for the post of Secreatary General, sections of the High Command asked Otafiire to challenge him. When Mbabazi was named security minister, Gen. Tinyefuza was named Cordinator of Intelligence services. To the military guys, Tinye was the defacto Security minister because they didnt believe in Mbabazi. But the latter has also been trying to get some stronghold among the security services. He has mainly recruited relatives especially from his wife's side into ISO and ESO. But the CMI remains the domain of the Generals.
Because of this fight, the two sides have tried to build armies within the UPDF. They all, however, pay allegiance to Museveni.
After building the armies, the two sides have been fighting over wealth. They try to out compete each other on who owns what. Mbabazi, the hitherto marxist type, silently entered into money making ventures using other confidants.
The issue of fighting corruption came in. Both sides have been trying to expose their deals most times leaking stories to the media where they have also positioned cadres. In this battle, several government bureacrats have been sucked in. Mbabazi has influenced several high profile appointments. This was meant to extend his zone of influence.
Ms Musisi's appointment is one of them. IGG Rapheal Baku is another. There are several others.
Because of the silent fight, observers say Mbabazi has an upper hand in scandalising his opponents. When Tinye vowed to arrest Musisi, he was addressing Mbabazi not the poor woman.
When Musisi said she does not fear Tinye, it was Mbabazi speaking.
This put Musisi in a tricky position either knowingly or otherwise. Her success will now depend on which camp will get Museveni on their side.
And yet even if that is settled, there is the small matter of Lord Mayor Lukwago and Buganda interests. If Musisi ignores Lukwago, she is definitley headed to unpopularity especially in Buganda. Although her drive is to clean up the city, will she manage to antagonise the interests of some powerful people including Museveni who have vested interests in the mess of Kampala? If she doesnt, she will end up being used to fight Baganda and other Opposition leaning businesspeople in the city. And she will have earned the wrath of Buganda nationalists and the Opposition in general. When Museveni realises that she is costing him and NRM the votes, he will begin calling delegations to state House and assure them how he would not allow KCCA to disadvantage the masses because the NRM went to the bush to fight for the poor people. Ms Musisi's fate will then be sealed.
Therefore, Ms Musisi's challenge is to try to avoid doing the bidding for the NRM and Museveni. But then, they appointed her. She has to bid for them. For now it appears she is already a pawn in a military and political game she seems to have no clue about. She is like sweet chewing gum now but will later be discarded. Things are worse that she is also trying to recruit KCCA employes using sectarianism and nepotism-- born again Christians being her favourites. She is reported to be trying to influence the recruitment of KCCA directors.That has already started to raise eyebrows. The game is on.