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Lukwago ‘fears for his life’ after getting threatening texts from Museveni’s minister

The Lord Mayor asked parliament for immediate intervention in the matter saying he now fears for his life after the SMS threats from the minister.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago (Photo/File)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Lord Mayor for Kampala Capital City AlHajji Erias Lukwago has said his life is in danger after getting a threatening message from the State Minister for Kampala Hon Kabuye Kyofatogabye.

Lukwago, 53, while appearing before the Physical Infrastructure Committee on May 11 to explain the allegations of inflated Bills of Quantities for civil works in Uganda’s capital Kampala asked parliament for immediate intervention in the matter saying he now fears for his life after the SMS threats from the minister.

“I did not want to raise this here but when a whole minister sent me threats, I knew things were now getting serious. I have here with me an SMS message from the State Minister for Kampala Kyofatogabye [Kabuye]. It really came as a shocker to me. He had never sent me a message before but this time round, he sent me one,” said Lukwago.

According to the Lord Mayor, Minister Kabuye’s message that he sent on April 27 to his personal phone number 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 [and] you know me when I decide to fight. My brother, learn to always sieve certain things and end useless wars.”

“This is a very serious matter. This is getting out of hand and that is why I am concerned. 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,” he said.

Mr Lukwago, however, clarified that the genesis of the matter rotates around his continued question on the roads saga adding that it is not in any way circled around political differences between them.

“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 [previously partly] stated that I would not have access to [certain] contracts. He said it was over his dead body.”

By press time, Kabuye was not available to respond to the allegations as he neither picked up phone calls from this reporter- nor replied to repetitive messages sent via his known WhatsApp contact.

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However, based on the seriousness of the claims, Committee Chairperson David Karubanga (Kigorobya County) advised Lukwago to address the issue with security agencies like the police.

With growing concern over the current poor state of Uganda’s roads characterized by huge potholes, Karubanga asked Lukwago what his team is doing to resolve the problem.

In response, Lukwago admitted that the entire road network in Kampala is “rotten to the core, which he attributed to perpetual neglect, inadequate funding, and abuse of the little funds available.”

“The entire road network in Kampala is 2,100km of which only 616km is paved. As KCCA, we receive a paltry Shs26billion which is not remitted timely….and to make matters worse, our budget line for civil works in the next FY2023/24 has been slashed from Shs78 billion to Shs10 billion,” Lukwago remarked.

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Small interventions are being used to address funding matters including the acquisition of loans from development partners, according to the mayor.

According to the KCCA Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka, at least Shs75b-Shs100b is needed annually to effectively maintain roads in Kampala alone. “The annual Shs26 billion government allocation for city roads is insufficient,” she noted in April 2023.

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