By Henry Sekanjako
DEMOCRATIC Party’s (DP) Jinja municipality Mayor Mohammed Baswale Kezaala has resolved to work with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government for the development of Jinja town.
Announcing a new strategic plan dubbed ‘Let us work’ for the development of Jinja municipality, Kezaala said most of his developmental projects for Jinja Town had been frustrated as a result of political conflicts.
Kezaala, who has for over 10 years been a key figure in the politics of Jinja, has in the past fought many political battles between him and some local leaders of the NRM party in Jinja.
“I was advised by a retired civil servant friend of mine, who shared a saying with me, that if you cannot beat them, you join them, I inevitably have to work with the government on matters of development I have no problem with this. However this will not change my political principals,” said Kezaala.
Kezaala, who was addressing journalists about his new strategic plan, said politicking in Jinja Municipality had affected many developments in the town council adding that working together with government is the only way to success.
“Most of my projects would have been possible if there was collaboration, I am always at pains when my region (Busoga) is branded as a zone for poverty and jiggers, we have the capacity to develop,” explained Kezaala.
He noted that through collaborated efforts with other local leaders regardless of their political affiliations, he had embarked on educational programs, skills development among other projects to empower Jinja Town locals financially.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) 2008 statistics, Jinja Town‘s population was estimated at 82,800 people. Jinja has a large population of inhabitants who are defined as ‘working urban poor’.
In a phone interview with the New Vision on Monday, government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo however commended Kezaala and urged other opposition leaders to emulate him.
“In NRM, we only have one manifesto; once one is elected they should work in unity and put aside politics. As NRM we are ready to work with Kezaala,” said Opondo, the executive director Uganda media center.
Through his personal assistant Amos Igaga, Jinja municipality MP Moses Balyeku welcomed Kezaala’s resolve saying; “If he wants a rapid response to developments in Jinja, he should definitely work with the NRM, this way, he will surly achieve”.