ANOTHER Democratic Party official has joined the 2011 campaign team for President Yoweri Museveni. Moses Kalungi, who branded himself Bill Gates because of his wealth, declared his support for Museveni during a rally in the Kampala suburb of Kabalagala in Makindye division yesterday.
“The people of Makindye and I promise to support you during the coming elections,” the Makindye LC3 chairman said, attracting applause and chants of alokose (he has been born-again).
Others shouted obaz (your political calculation is right).
Kalungi was elected Makindye LC3 chairman in 2006 on a DP ticket. His reign has been marked by skirmishes with division councillors over tenders and corruption-related issues.
Kampala mayor Nasser Ntege Sebaggala, who has also declared his alliance to Museveni, said he would accompany Kalungi to the President for formal talks.
The President was in Makindye on his third day of touring the Government’s Prosperity for All (PFA) programme in Kampala district.
Calling Kalungi to stand by his side, Ssebagala said, “your Excellency, you have invited me for a cup of tea at State House, I will come along with Kalungi in my car and I believe at the end of the meeting, all other aspects will be finalised.” His statement drew more chants of “Abeewo” (log live), adding to the excitement.
Ssebaggala in a veiled statement attacked a Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke, calling him a poorly brought up rural boy.
He said, “There are some youths I brought up and installed as MP here. These youths have no manners and we think it is time to remove them from Parliament and take there better behaved MPs.
Your Excellency, it’s easy to bring a man from the village but very difficult to get the village from him,” Ssebaggala said in a reference to his former campaign strategist Mabikke.
Patting on the shoulders of Makindye East NRM aspirant Mulangira Simbwa, Ssebaggala vowed to campaign from him to defeat Mabikke.
There was however apprehension when the NRM vice chairman for Kampala region Francis Babu, tried to cajole Kalungi to declare there and then, that he had joined NRM party. Kalungi diplomatically waved him down, accompanied with some nods.
Museveni shook Kalungi’s hand heartily as he received his memorandum, but did not comment on his promise of support. He however lauded Kalungi’s proposals in his speech which includes elevation of the division to a municipality status.
Thought-out his tour, Museveni stressed the need for modern agro production practices in urban and peri urban areas by initiating high value and marketable enterprises that can be carried out in small spaces in order to realize increased house hold incomes.
In Makindye, The President said that Kampala district marks the conclusion of his countrywide tour to assess the implementation of his 2006 campaign bait of Bonna Bagagawale.
Museveni said that he had withheld the release of sh120 billion for NAADS programme since July until his own audit of the programme is concluded. The programme has been dogged with complaints of inflation of costs, unfair choice of beneficiaries, lack of transparency, theft and bribery.
The President announced that new guidelines had been given to the NAADS secretariat. They include involvement of LC1 chairpersons who will summon a village assembly to choose beneficiaries whenever money is released.
“LC1s have had two jobs of ensuring peace and security and politics. We want to transform villages into development cells and LC1s to become pillars of development,” Museveni explained.
He pointed out that the problem of Ugandans was lack of prioritisation. He argued that having adequate household incomes follows peace, health and fear of God in the prerequisites for living a good life.
“If we solve household incomes, then traders have customers, boda bodas have passengers and taxes are easy to collect. This shows that household income is a key that opens to many doors in the economy,” he elaborated.
Museveni observed that government has worked on all major highways and citizens should not be seen to only be using them to transport rumours faster. He described people who rely on handouts to a silly servant who finds comfort and pride in being a herdsman of his uncle.
“I have been preaching this gospel of Bonna Bagagawale for long. And like the Biblical man who went out to sow, some of the seeds of my Gospel fell on barren land and others fell on fertile soils and are blossoming,” Museveni said in reference to the model farmers he had visited in Makindye East and West constituencies.
The President emphasized the need for all Ugandans to engage in income generating activities in order to increase household incomes because it is the basic foundation of most of the challenges facing Ugandans. He however blamed most of the problems faced by Kampala residents like power shortage and high rent on the poor leadership at the various levels.
Moses Kalungi: A profile
He is a lawyer by profession, but also a businessman and a local leader.
When he was elected in 2006 as Makindye LC3 Chairman on a DP ticket, Kalungi committed his five-year salary to Makindye residents.
At that time he said, “I have given away my salary of sh3m as entandikwa to my people. I will be distributing it to organised groups every month through my five- year tenure.”
The salary added up to over sh180million through the five years. He hoped at that time that by the end of five years, the money should have changed people’s livelihoods.
He attended Nakivubo and Nakasero Primary Schools, Nakasero High School before joining Makerere University to pursue a degree in Law.
Kalungi is a young brother to city businessman Godfrey Kirumira who introduced him to business of importing boda bodas.
He owns Kalungi Estates, a wide dealership company that includes property management. He owns Kalungi Plaza building on Wilson Road in the city in addition to other properties in and around Kampala.
He owns Highway Motors an importer of motorbikes and spare parts. He also buys and exports agricultural produce.
His tenure as Makindye division chairperson has been characterised by cases of missing funds. In 2008, a probe led by Jacob Oulanyah investigated misuse of public funds in Makindye Division.
Profile compiled by MUWAYI IDDI