In a dramatic turn of events, residents of Kalagala village have backed Lwengo LC-V Chairman George Mutabaazi, who recently beat up people for dodging community work.
At a meeting in Lwengo sub-county last Thursday, residents said it was in order for Mutabaazi to discipline anyone dodging community work, which the Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, also promotes.
The meeting was called by Lwengo district NRM Chairman Muhammad Muyanja Mbabaali, in a bid to calm tempers, after Mutabaazi made national headlines for caning his voters. The district boss was angry that some residents had ignored his calls to fix community roads.
“As Lwengo district NRM chairman, I request you to forgive Mutabaazi for what he did. The spirit of Bulungi bwa nsi he was conducting is very good but we all condemn the way he did it. But I talked to him and he promised that he will change the approach,” Mbabaali said.
He was, however, pleasantly surprised to discover he was preaching to the converted, when most speakers sided with their stick-wielding chairman. Among other things, the locals said the chairman’s hard stance had forced youths to work, instead of playing pool the whole day.
Now, said Jamil Kyeyune, people still play pool but no one tries it during morning hours, when garden work usually peaks.
“He has done a lot for us and we appreciate his way of doing things,” said one Joseph Muyanja amidst cheers from the gathering.
Muyanja added that if Mutabaazi had not been forceful, they would not have set up big cassava gardens as he demanded.
“It is not Mutabaazi eating that cassava despite the fact that he forced us to plant it. Many of our colleagues in this village were surviving on single meals but Mutabaazi’s cassava project has tremendously helped us to improve our diet,” Muyanja said, adding that even the children who used to go to school without food at least have something to eat for lunch.
Last year, Mutabaazi directed Lwengo district residents to plant cassava alongside other crops, threatening to punish anyone failing to comply. Although he has been inspecting villages on this matter, it was the roadwork dodgers that drew his ire.
Seemingly surprised by the comments about Mutabaazi, Hajji Mbabaali invited the four people who were beaten by Mutabaazi to explain what they felt about him. Dan Byekwaso, Tony Semakula and his wife, and Jessica Namwanje, said that they did not have any grudge with Mutabaazi.
Lawrence Byakatonda, a tutor by profession, who attempted to condemn Mutabaazi’s actions as the meeting ending, was heckled and booed.
Another resident, Sharon Tukamureeba, also demanded that Mutabaazi apologises to women for beating an expectant mother. But since the pregnant woman who was beaten had already accepted to forgive Mutabaazi, Tukamureeba was bawled down.
Source : The Observer