Betty Nambooze. /PHOTO Courtesy
By :

Betty Nambooze

In the last few days the debate has focused on the Ghetto. At Nbs, they have even coined something to do with the Ghetto politics.This morning a Member of Parliament from the rural Bunyoro and a Musician who strategically chose beefing his prominent collegues as a strategy to propel himself to the top of the showbizz business got engaged in a shouting match basically intended to show who of the two ( sides each represented) is uglier when it comes to the unholly profiteering from public coffers, courtesy of Museveni’s misrule.

Its unfortunate for us to bastardise this debate by shifting focus from what we need to do as a country to uplift the life of the people in the ghetto to the politician who control the support of the people in the Ghetto. As we talk now there are two men claiming the ghetto; Hon Kyagulanyi Ssentamu and Kaguta Museveni. One has ekikofiira and the other has akakofiira….One has been in the power for 34 years and has overseen the growing into Ghettos of our urban areas and the other is a youngman,who grew up in the Ghetto but defied all odds to bring himself at the table where the governance of the Country is being discussed….let the debate begin.

The City and Towns are magnets of opportunity: they offer better standards of living than rural areas…In Uganda Urban areas will soon house 75% of the country’s population and economy. However because of poor planning which is a characteristic of misrule, the demand for housing, jobs, and services outstrips the capacity Uganda has as a Country to deal with the arising challenges. The rural urban migrants settlements have now turned into congested, haphazard locales that amplify extreme poverty that characterise the Ghettos.

Simply put,a Ghetto is a run-down area of a city or Town characterised by sub-standard housing, squalor and lacking in tenure security. The Ghettos are inhabited by the poor and socially-disadvantaged people of this Nation. Ghettos are the neglected, unplanned, unbudgeted for and not recognised by the public authorities. Worse still our City Managers consider these areas as not being an integral part of the city or town, but instead take the inhabitants as just a nuisance and an inconvinience to a developing City.

According to a report from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, 64% of the total urban population in Uganda live in the Ghettos (slums). This means that over three million Ugandans live in Ghettos. Another report by UN habitant shows that the urban population stood at 5.5 million as of 2012, with 3.3 million of them being slum dwellers.

No one would pride him/herself in living in the Ghetto….its conditions that force our people there….Not even the Presidential envoy Butcherman will continue staying there now that he has a “paying job”. The first thing a person will do as soon as he/she earns a better life, will be to remove his/her family out of the Ghetto.

When Museveni came to power in 1986, he through his Prime Minister then Dr Kisekka to upgraded the biggest slum then comprising of Namuwongo Area and later the Ewa Kisekka area. This was before he got “drunk with power”. Later during his 34 year regime, Museveni has presided over a country that has grown very big slums not only in Kampala but also in other parts of the Country.

So, having failed to deal with the issues of the Urban poor in the Ghettos whose plight Hon .Bobi Wine now champions, Museveni has decided to declare himself a Ghetto Man ofcourse not as part of the Ghetto its self but through making them his vote tributaries hence appointing an envoy to represent him in this “foreign land.” Like other colonisers Museveni has started with depositing the leader of the Ghetto Hon.Bobi Wine.

Hon.Bobi Wine was very clear when he joined politics, he said that “If Parliament (Government) will not go to the Ghetto, the Ghetto will come to Parliament”. This Statement deeply analyzed shows how the urban poor have been neglected and even criminalized by the Governors of this Country.

The debate shouldnt therefore be who of Museveni and Hon Bobi is more loved and likely to be voted for by the Ghetto dwellers…The debate should be on who of the two has a better plan and policies to address the issue of the urban poor? This is the debate NBS should organise and bring down Catherine Kusasira, Butcherman and Beti Kamya to tell us the policies they are pursuing together with their boss Museveni to address the Uganda’s Ghetto challenge.

I promise to avail myself to represent the forces of Change during that public debate. I hope the country is aware that Hon.Bobi appointed Hon.Ssegona to lead the Metropolitan and ofcourse on matters of Kampala our team is always led by Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago ….We are ready to face Museveni’s miracle City team…Eggwanga likijjemu enjawulo.

As a people’s Minister for Kampala through bench marking places with best practices in relation to this subject, I wrote and presented before Parliament our proposal and alternative on how best to deal with this matter. A copy of the same can be obtained from the Parliamentary Library. I will be improving on it in the financial year 2020/2021 because each passing year we get new challenges.

In summary, the People Government seeks for better housing and slum upgrading projects which we think will contribute to reducing social inequalities and also improving urban safety through their social and spatial impacts….. We believe in ethical City Management, where each and everything done in the City must put the people first.

The People’s President will never seek to be a man of the Ghetto….We in the People’s Government recorgonise with gratefulness the role Hon.Bobi has played and continues to play in awakening this Country on the plight of the urban poor. We therefore seek to establish relationships of trust between political, technical, and community partners, sustained over time at Municipal and National levels so as to establish an inclusive urban governance system for our Cities and Towns. Kasukaali keeko oba twongeremu?


Nambooze, is a Member of the Ugandan Parliament, representing Mukono Municipality 

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