Opinion: Boda Boda Free Zone to implemented in November [another failed launch by a government agency]

On 25th July 2020, State Minister of Kampala Betty Amongi launched the Boda Boda Free Zone in Central Business District of Kampala, which was legislation and decision made by the Cabinet. Which was to be implemented within reach of 2 days on the 27th July 2020. We are now on the 29th July 2020 and Minister of Works and Transport Gen. Katumba Wamala announced that the Free Zone will be implemented instead on the 1st November 2020.

What we are seeing is a reappearing act of the government. They implement new legislation and new policies, but have not thought through the implications of it and how to actually do it. This happen a few years ago with SIM-CARD registration. When that happen it was postponements and changes over a long time, before it evidently was able to do it. Also, getting all the ducks in a row and secure the process, which was not possible when announced.

The same might be felt now. That Kampala Capital City Authority, the Ministry of Kampala and Ministry of Works and Transport wasn’t prepared for the ramifications. That it would cause issues in the CBD. That the drivers are stopped and not allowed entering. That there was no clear guidelines for the certified package delivery boda boda companies. These should be able to pass, also if it is not a passenger service, but a personal motorcycle, should they be able to pass into the free zone?

The gazetted areas of boda boda stages. We can wonder, if the owners, stakeholders, drivers and the public really knows about these places too. Or if they are put on random and suddenly need to move around differently all across the city. Just like the Free Zone, the Boda Boda and all associates should have time to move and know the new regulation. Not just over night change, because the cabinet said so.

If you wonder why Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago struggles to reign in the capital. He has the Cabinet ordering and micro-managing without his input or no knowledge of connection to his team. The elected representatives should feel baffled, that suddenly the City changes without votes or outreach. Later, they will throw blame at his administration, even if all decisions was made from the Cabinet and Ministries, while not even consulting the elected leadership. Except they maybe do something with KCCA as they were involved in the launch on Saturday.

We are now on Wednesday and the implementation has been postponed. Maybe now the causes and effects can be scoped in. The costs and the ability for both commuters, boda boda’s and Taxis can be put into play. Also, the possible stages and need U-Turns for the boda boda’s needs to be considered. Especially close to the zone. If not they will cause more traffic chaos, as commuters have to switch to either walk, taxis or bicycles. This has to be considered, as in rush-hours the boda boda’s are a gift to dip through traffic. In the CBD it will not be possible from November. That is why the state has to secure a safe passage and safety for everyone involved.

When you push out policies to quick without considerations or checking effects. Than you get work like this. They are pursuing changes, which will change the traffic flow and where people can cross the city. However, that is done quickly and now the state backtracks. Maybe, they should have a sit-down with stakeholders, ensure the passage and policy actually working. Instead, it has backfired and that is why MoWT had to postpone the Free Zone.

It proves again, that the minds in-charge are sometimes reckless. Not thinking about consequences and just pushing through. Alas, that is not how life is and therefore, they have to retract and secure afterwards instead. Peace.

Opinion: The Boda Boda Free Zone – Will not decongest the CBD of Kampala

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) announced yesterday, their new regulations on the Boda Boda Industry, the motorcycle taxis transport, which are an integrated part of traffic and transport of the capital. Especially, in a congested and jam infested capital like Kampala. There is no luck to dip through traffic in a ordinary sedan or an SUV in the midst of rush hour. You need to be quick and either jump from a taxi onto a boda boda, if you want to dip through quickly.

This is common knowledge. When you have a private car and passing through jams. It isn’t the boda’s that create its. Its the lack of enough lanes, enough incentive for people to use collective transports and the lack options, also decongest the roads. It is not like you switch to decent roads, accept for the main roads or the feeder roads. The area around the Central Business District is packed. The roads out in all directions get filled quickly and at some point of the day. Your going to get stuck.

If the Boda Boda Free Zone get activated. There will be underlying issues. As the boda’s themselves has to avoid these districts. The passengers can only be transported to the edge and need to take a second option to get to work. They will switch from boda’s to Taxis or Specials. That will be costly to pay to fees for the same range. The shillings will go up for each employee within the CBD.

The ones who already drives cars to work will not feel this. They will be unaffected. The Boda’s are maybe out of the CBD. However, the same delivery cars, the same heavy cars, the convoys of VIPs and personal cars will pass. The Taxis will be in and around the area. They will go to stages and to the Taxi Parks. To think otherwise is naive.

The only ones hurt by this is the boda boda drivers and the passengers. Who has less options to dip through traffic and get quicker out of the CBD in jams. That option will be gone, because you have to get out those before switching transports. And inside a taxi in the middle of a jam. You are sort of stuck until you hit a stage. That might take some time and you could read a chapter in book before reaching there.

The idea are made with its best of intentions. However, the effects and the possible trouble it causes. The time consuming for the ones using it. Has that come into the equation or is that just mere bystander to the issue?

There is no cause without an effect. There is no action without a reaction. Also, a regulation like this will hurt some segments of the public. It will not only be hard for the policing and stop the drivers from passing. Has the KCCA thought of giving alternative routes and roads to pass to the boda boda’s?

In the statement, there is nothing like that and the operators. Have they gotten the proper guidelines and understanding of it? What is the cost, if they by mere unluck are going into the free zone? Will they be impounded and the passenger be detained too? What is the sort of fine or obstacle?

There is only a blockage and guideline. However, how will it be enforced and who will do the bidding for it?

What will the state earn on closing the CBD for boda boda’s and not having the ability to dip through traffic and jams from there. You have to get to outer stages to be able. That is really hectic. However, that is the will of KCCA and the citizens just have to abide.

Good Monday, the ones whose used to dip through traffic in jams after work on boda boda’s, better be prepared. They will not be able and they got to find other means. Also, bring a book. The jam is going to be there, but not the means criss-cross it and pass through on two wheels. Peace.

Opinion: Kampala is hectic [because the “high above” want it like that]

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has a new leadership again after the President has appointed new Executives. This is yet another big change directly by him. At this point there is nobody who can run it smoothly or correctly. The President could appoint Steve Jobs or someone else with exceptional leadership skills. However, they will never do enough or have the capacity to make a difference. That is because of the system the President has made for Kampala.

It is a reason why there are issues in Kampala. KCCA isn’t the issue. It is part of the problem. You have the Ministry of Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, which has its mandate in the city. Then you have the KCCA, which has their place. After that you have the Lord Mayor, the Division Mayors and Councillors.

Lastly, you have the Presidential Advisors for Kampala, Ghetto and such. So, when you know about all of these. There got to be a hectic mess. There is a levels to this and that has been made by the President. He has appointed them all, except for the elected leadership, which he cannot touch in a way. That is why he has made like this to stifle and ensure his total control over them.

The KCCA, the Ministry and the Presidential Advisors are all increasing tensions and ensuring that there are to many cooks in Kampala. Because, you have the elected leadership too. There are so many players, everyone supposed to act and do things. Still, they are all in the midst of the same pot with the same problems and the same lack of results.

Kampala is a political farce. That has been made by Museveni and his cadres over the years. He has made this system. He has amended it and changed it. Because, he knows he cannot win this City. The President knows that he doesn’t have the characters or believable politicians to overpower the opposition in Kampala. That is why he has made the KCCA, the Ministry and the other appointments.

That is why the KCCA are struggling to deliver too. Yes, they have made new laws and regulations. It is still not happening. The President can butcher, axe and sack the leadership of KCCA at any given day. The President can appoint a new Minister and State Minister for Kampala. Still of all of that will not change the issues on the ground.

I don’t believe the new leadership will make a difference. They could be Gods among Men. However, they still have to configure, work and adjust within the means of the KCCA in combination with all the other players of Kampala. It is not like the KCCA is working a vacuum, but its in the midst of fire. They just have to await their time to get burned.

No one can save the KCCA. Because there isn’t anything to save. It is a mechanism to break, shred and trying to destroy the elected leadership from within. They are there to overpower and outsmart the Lord Mayor and Division Mayors. To make them as ceremonial as the Kings. The Ministry is there to oversee the KCCA and elected officials. While God knows what the Presidential Advisors do, except for cashing in checks. Still, they will blast out anyone who doesn’t act right.

That is why the President has made this system. He should carry the blame. It’s been all done on his watch. He can re-appoint, change the Executive Director as much as he please. However, that doesn’t change the structure or the problems from within. It only amplifies it and shows it again.

It is easy to pin the blame on the appointed leadership. As everyone should, but the ones that has created this mess. Should carry the most of it. That is only fair. Peace.

Ministry of Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs: Press Conference on the Guidelines for Opening Public Transport Post-COVID 19 Lockdown (28.05.2020)

Opinion: Lord Mayor Lukwago is cornered [and that’s the plan after all]

The ones whose thinking Lord Mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago has an easy road. He doesn’t, as he has the City Hall. Where he reside and supposed to be the leader of the elected leadership together with Local Councillors and the 5 Division Mayors. However, that isn’t everything the Lord Mayor have to toy around to get things done.

The Mayor has the major challenger Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Andrew Mubiru Kitaka. Whose been given a mandate and was made to be in the way of the elected leadership, as the NRM couldn’t achieve majority in the Capital.

To ensure more havoc and chaos, the President has appointed Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Beti Amogin and State Minister for KCCA Benna Namugwanya. This makes a lot of chefs already blended in the mix.

Then you have the likes of Cathrine Kusasira, whose appointed Presidential Advisor for Kampala Affairs. Together with Mark Bugembe aka Butchaman as Presidential Advisor on the Ghetto Affairs and Jennifer Nakanguubi aka Full Figure the Presidential Advisor on Youth and Artists. All of these are sort of involved in matters in Kampala. As Kusasira is directly under the Ministry of Kampala. While Butchaman has a indirect role and the same with Full Figure with her office in Katwe. Not like they are not making the picture of people less stressing.

There is always the stress between KCCA and Lord Mayor. The mandates and the roles of the Executive Committee and so fourth. There is mix of the appointed leadership, the Ministers and the Presidential Advisors. All putting the fingers in the pot and there is so many chefs, which only create a bad stew. The flavours will be off and the meat will burned. Nothing to enjoy and just pure maladministration.

It seems like this is the idea of the President who has made this system. He has ensured the capital to be run like a mad-house. Where the Lord Mayor complains about the lack of leadership and co-operation. This is yet another term where the mayor has nothing to show for. Neither has the KCCA or the Executives there. The previous one could shuffle enough snow to make big show.

Lukwago doesn’t look smart. He looks bewildered and its not weird. Lord Mayor isn’t able to play, the cards are stacked against him. This is what the state wants, as they want the opposition to suffer her. They don’t want the opposition to have a viable candidate and they can ensure people get distrust in Lukwago.

However, that isn’t his faults. Not that his proven other levels, than resilience and character. No one is helping him succeed. No one is ensuring the lawyer to victor anywhere. The only thing happening is that his not allowed to operate in office. That is why he was impeached last term and was evicted from office. That didn’t happen now, but its not like the KCCA or the Ministry have given him any way. While the Division Mayors is also wanting more power.

It is a struggle for political power and its created not to better the city, but to swallow the opposition leadership of it. So, that the people get tired of the malfunction and puts in one of the President’s puppets instead. Peace.

Fatal Protests in Kampala: David Kibuuka died as a result of Police Brutality

Police have killed David Kibuuka, a resident of Kabowa in Kampala when they shot at the protestors who attempted to force their way into the premises of Shreeji Stationers 2009, whose owners they blamed for blocking roads” (New Vision, 26.11.2019).

This is yet another person whose life got taken by the authorities, because they can use live-bullet,s tear-gas and do whatever they can to stop people from industrial action or protests. Demonstrations are brutally shut down. Today, was yet another day of this in the Republic. This is not new, but an affect of the political landscape in Uganda.

The village publicist and resident David Kibuuka was wearing a placard and was on the streets, as the Police Officer was using arms, which killed him on the streets. This as there was protests happening, as the demonstrations was happening on the Wankuluku road in Rubaga Divison, as there are an factory planning to close the road and the water channel there.

That’s why the Kampala Metropolitan Police came with full force from the closest police post in Rubaga Division. He was shot while covering this demonstration there. That was clearly to much for the authorities.

This is really sad, that David had to loose his life over this. That the authorities had to take it, while he was covering and participating as a citizen as a part of a protest. Because, it is not like the authorities are listening to local grievances by email, letters or such. Since this is the only way to show the authorities how the feel.

David didn’t deserve this, neither does anyone else. This is brutality and impunity of the state at its worse. If this was an illegal activity, they could have answered with other means. Instead, they are coming with brutal force, which is fatal. Peace.

Kampala Metropolitan Police: Press Statement (26.11.2019)

Opinion: Kusasira needed two weeks and she’s now the Queen of Kampala

The position I have is more superior whether they want it or not. They have to formally write to me if they want me to meet them. To be a senior presidential advisor, it means I’m above them. They have to request me to go meet them to see how we can develop Kampala” – Catherine Kusasira (on the 9th November 2019).

It is 14 days since Catherine Kusasira was appointed as Presidential Advisor on Kampala Affairs. Already after two weeks she is now senior. Surely, that has to be explained to the 169 others who has the same capacity in the Republic. Three of them was appointed at the same time or in the same time. This being her, Jennifer Full Figure and Butchaman. These are all Presidential Advisors with new official cars.

Surely, the power goes to the brain of the public. She now thinks she’s so special and unique. That is just the way she is. Now, because of her role, she thinks she’s higher than the elected officials, the ones whose elected to represent the public. That she a bureaucrat and appointed leader are bigger than the Lord Mayors, the MPs and whoever else. That is the words she has.

A friendly reminder, when she was appointed:

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has officially appointed local Artiste Catherine Kusasira as presidential advisor on Kampala Affairs. Under this role, Catherine Kusasira will be charge of coordinating the young NRM recruits in the slum dwellings” (NBS Television, 26.10.2019).

It is not like Kusasira have done anything. Not that Catherine have a big name or proven her abilities to anyone. She has not even coloured her office or dirt on the wheels of the 4 Wheel Drive she gotten. Therefore, that she thinks so highly of herself is a bit far-fetched.

She should humble herself a bit. She only has it, because the President needs a few Ghetto passes and have some friendly faces from the ghetto. Catherine has a long way ahead. She can try to pull this stunt on Erias Lukwago, the KCCA Director or the Kampala MPs, but they will stop her. They will not accept this. She’s not bigger than the Minister of Kampala Beti Kamya and Lord Mayor Lukwago will also stand his ground. That’s why she’s crossing a dangerous path by doing this.

Kusasira better drop the act, she’s not a queen nor a super-high ranking official. She’s just another one of the needed stooges of the 170 Presidential Advisors. They are not that important. That’s why most of them are obscure and only fetching salaries. Therefore, she will soon be one of them.

Catherine should take it easy. Your not that grand nor great. You haven’t done anything to earns people respect. They didn’t even vote for you. Your not that special. You have been appointed a Presidential Advisor, one out 170. Kusasira, relax, your not a Queen, even Sheeba is more Royal than you ever will be. Peace.

CCEDU: Press Statement on Police brutality on journalists (04.11.2019)

Opinion: A never ending story called the Northern Bypass…

This is becoming a never ending story. Where the state, all the various ministries, state owned organizations and whoever gotten the tender has been able to finish the project of 21 kilometres or 23 kilometres. Since on that one this project even differs.

What we do know is that this have been in the courts over battle over payment for land. It has been postponed and stopped, because the company doing the work has been shoddy. There been plenty of controversy and not all good news. That is why these kilometres has taken so long to build and still isn’t finished.

It is really amazing how this continues and it seems that this will be prolonged even longer. Because, we know what season its getting into. Election season and then all sorts of budgets and campaigns whacks out everything else. Even if this one is now scheduled to be done by 2021. But we know how flexible the end-dates are. So don’t be confused if it is still unfinished in 2023 or 2025. Because this project that was launched in 2004 seems to be alive and kicking a little bit longer.

New Vision 2008:

THE public is still awaiting the opening of the 21km Kampala Northern Bypass. The project was launched on May 20, 2004 and was to last 30 months, ending on November 19, 2006. It was later extended by 10 months to September 2007. This was later to change to March this year, which deadline was also not met. This delay is causing public concern. Apart from reports of extortion by the guards who allow motorists to use the road illegally, accidents are beginning to happen” (Chris Kiwawulo – ‘Will the Northern Bypass ever be completed?’ 25.04.2008).

JICA Report in 2010:

The recent cooperation of the EU for the GKMA urban road sector is as follows:

Kampala Northern Bypass: €47.5 million, Construction of 21 km bypass to relieve congestion in Kampala City (completed and opened to the public in October 2009).

Technical Assistance to RAFU/UNRA: €2.0 million (on-going)” (JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY (JICA) – ‘THE STUDY ON GREATER KAMPALA ROAD NETWORK AND TRANSPORT IMPROVEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA –

FINAL REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – NOVEMBER 2010).

CSBAG Paper 2018:

For example,the works on Kampala Northern Bypass registered a cumulative progress by end of June 2017 of 46.7% against the programmed 97.95%. The elapsed time was 98.81% based on the Original Program of Works. The major issues affecting progress is delayed site access, Design issues and Relocation of services” (…) “ Kampala Northern Bypass highlighted as a project to be concluded in FY 2018/19. This is not feasible as none of the six roundabouts which have sizable infrastructural and structural undertakings has been commenced on” (CSBAG – ‘CSO POSITION PAPER ON THE WORKS AND TRANSPORTSECTOR BUDGET FY2018/19’ 12.04.2018).

Article October 2019:

The upgrade of the Kampala Northern by pass into a four-lane high way started back in 2014 with the completion date set for November 2018. However, the date has been pushed to 2021 due to a couple of challenges hindering the project which include; changes on the original design and compensation of the affected people. Mr. Allan Ssempebwa, UNRA’s media manager last month said that the works stood at 60% and mentioned that the interchanges at Sentema and Namungoona will be handed over to the government by the end of this year” (Patrick Mulyungi – ‘Uganda to launch three new footbridges on Kampala Northern Bypass’ 02.10.2019).

So, we are seeing the stages of building is either not done or postponed. This is all done by various of reasons. The Kampala Northern Bypass are really a long prolonged project that seemingly seems never to end. Even the government own paper wondered about that 11 years ago and we have to wait another two years. But knowing how this ones goes. Don’t expect the state to follow its timeline.

What I wondering about, how proud is the European Union for supporting the project and the longevity of this. There should be questions from the ones who has funded it and why it takes so long. Since, they are accepting it and surely gotten the explanations. Because, we who follows haven’t really.

There are lame duck excuses with the land and the state paying the ones living there. Where the state has to pay for the hurt of building a road on private land. If they planned this and commenced this in 2004. By the time of 2019, the state should have been able to settle this and know the route of the road. However, they are showing lack of due diligence and putting the work in.

Because, the Northern Bypass should have been done by now. That isn’t rocket-science. This is made like this since people are eating of this project. Not like it should take this long to finish a 21/23 kilometres long tarmacked road around Kampala. But apparently it does. Peace.