Yesterday, some “ungrateful” Ugandans protested our investors in Nakasero for hawking. Ungrateful because they never know the role of our modern investors especially on the road to the middle income status, the protest got me thinking who is qualified to hawk and who is not. All citizens must agree that if we are all of us going to deliver our country to the middle income status, we need to allow hawking investors to teach us how to do business on the streets of Kampala. Perhaps that is how they succeeded.
My boda boda chap, called Ssalongo, this time around is from one of the lucrative centers in Katanga has his origins in the Kigezi region in the south western part of the country. My contract with him is to take me to Nakasero, it was just a tip off by a tweep that downtown hardware traders had had their tempers flare. Along the way our conversation is largely a fortune of being a Ugandan minister. Ssalongo says he is proud of the embattled State Minister for Labor, Employment and Industrial Relations Hon. Herbert Kabafunzaki for his brevity. “We Bakiga never settle for less,” he says. Adding that; “Kabafunzaki was working for his voters.”
I therefore stand with Bakiga and the Rwamucucu people in particular to congratulate Hon. Herbert Kabafunzaki upon a heroic move to direct an investor. Those who think we can reach the middle income status without investors must be guided. Just in case someone feels offended as you are trying to look for salt and school fees for your children, we think those “little faults” are everywhere. There isn’t a man living who has got no peccadilloes: Heaven made him so, let those free-thinkers say what they like. Atakikolangako akasuke ejinja. Nyabirerema, Nyakasiru, Karorwa, Kyogo, Kibanda, Rutengye people still love you. They content you were setup. Just because it was not in billions, that is why you’re being gagged. It should have been more than that at least for we know the number of road blocks , security checks that one must brave to statehouse.
I associate myself with the people of Mparo village, Rwamucucu Sub-County in Kabale District where you are born. I also stand with the voters of Rukiga County upon your breakthrough as a first timer, minister. We congratulate you upon following the script. When you were appointed, as voters of Rukiga expect, you should be have a mansion. You should construct malls in all growing towns and you should have land all these are the social needs. It is your turn to “eat” why should people think you are not entitled to eating yet you’re meagerly paid.
We know you were set up by some unpatriotic Ugandans. Those who don’t know how hard it is to meet the president, are heckling and rubbishing your transport refund/ facilitation to lead the investor to the president. The same shameless people go around telling your voters that you are greedy. As if they don’t know how hard it is to reach the president. Forgive them for they don’t know what they are talking about.
You have made the people of Rwamucucu proud of you. Who knew a village called Rwamucucu, thank you for joining the league of hard workers! We no doubt have always known you for being a selfless, God fearing man. Who knows whether the 5million shillings were meant to construct a local church in Nyakagabagaba.
Your voters shall indeed give you another Kisanja for being a good representative. What if you were courting the Aya brothers to fund the Rwamucucu pads for girls’ campagn? We know government has said lately that it has no money to buy sanitary pads for the little school going kids.
We are sorry that your gracefulness has been taken for granted. Maybe the His Excellency could have given you a handshake for cleaning the investors’ name. Blame your love for ‘investors’ to create a good environment for our beloved investors so that when they are investing in hawking pipes, tiles and making chapatti they can “feel at home”.
We ‘sober’ Ugandans indeed stand with you, just like social media fans have vehemently stood with Maama Stella in Luzira. Those freethinkers don’t know that in the East African region you are one of the poorest paid as members of parliament. Who said that a country preparing for middle income status needs a state minister who only earns a monthly pay of just Shs25 million?
We the tax payers know you received a one off car grant of Shs103 million, but we fell and think that is just peanuts. And by the way, for those hecklers, do they know how much fuel you spend to check on your loyal voters in the hilly Rukiga County with impassable roads? Maybe they think only Shs4.5 million; mileage facilitation is enough for a minister of Kabafunzaki caliber? Why should Ugandans think that the Shs3.2 million you receive every month as constituency facilitation is enough for all your voters? You have to give back to community, to thank them for making you closer to the national cake.
Hon. Minister, there were rumors in corridors that you don’t pay taxes as MPs. Let those hecklers, and unpatriotic Ugandans know that you receive only Shs2.6 million as your monthly taxable salary. And that you have never defaulted paying taxes. Of all the people you have to take care of, why would anyone think that your subsistence allowance which is just about Shs1 million is enough. Does anyone know how important a honorable member is, we know members of parliament among other things is lobby for your voters. Why would they think that only Shs50, 000 per sitting in a parliamentary committee where you put your valuable time would be enough? They don’t know that just by spending that committee time where you will only earn 50,000, you can fruitfully use it to meet an investor, of Aya’s caliber and pocket 5million just in a flash of a second. They don’t know that even if you add the plenary sitting allowances of 50, ooo per sitting, you will have to wait for a year to raise the money like what Aya is presenting.
Shs9 million per month for Social Security Benefits is not enough. Any serious hard-working gentleman like you will have to dine with investors to see how to improve on your security benefits; voters commend you for the brevity. Can you imagine someone thinks a minister only can require just about Shs1 million as town running allowance. Don’t they know the traffic jam experience and the hefty fees boda boda riders charge one especially if they know you are honorable? How mean can we Ugandans be? If Paul Ojambo of URA can be given Shs29.5million to photocopy and work beyond 5 o’clock in the famous 6bn handshake, why not 5million for a minister to direct an investor to statehouse?
When you go to Rwamucucu, you must indeed appear like a honorable member. While you are given wardrobe advance (loan) of up to Shs50 million why wait for the money to accumulate a lot of interest yet some investors can help fundraise for you to settle the debts? They say you were given a free iPad costing Shs2.6 million, does of those critics know the maintenance cost of an iPad? How many Ugandans have seen an iPad? If people in Rukiga county must spend hefty sums of money on phone charging deep down in Omwineero or in Buchundura because of lack of electricity, how about when their honorable member is home? Do they expect you not to have power banks that can help the people Nozi when you go to visit them?
Indeed it must be the opposition FDC that set you up in a hotel to soil your relationship with mzee. They want him to forget how you strategically sought for Mzee’s 2021 support at Kamwezi in Rukiga County. We stand with you in all situations.