THE decision taken by the parliamentary committee on natural resources to investigate accusations that the residence of one of its members, Ken Lukyamuzi (MP Lubaga South), is in a wetland is untenable
with John Kakande
THE decision taken by the parliamentary committee on natural resources to investigate accusations that the residence of one of its members, Ken Lukyamuzi (MP Lubaga South), is in a wetland is untenable.
The decision may appear logical, but it is actually an escalation of a longstanding conflict between Lukyamuzi and some members of the natural resources committee.
Some members feel that Lukyamuzi has been working to undermine their current leadership. Others do not like the way he bypasses the committee, like recently when he addressed the press with his colleague, Nsubuga Nsa mbu, and criticised President Yoweri, Museveni for saying he would not assent to the amendment of the Land Act Bill.
Lukyamuzi was the natural resources committee vice-chairperson during the first parliamentary session and virtually overshadowed Hillary Onek (MP Lamwo), the chairperson. When the committee considered the governmentâ€™s decision to lease Butamira forest reserve to Kakira Sugar Works (KSW), Lukyamuzi was opposed to the decision.
Onek was then in hospital and Lukyamuzi, as vice-chairperson of the committee, presented a report to the House rejecting the leasing of Butamira forest to KSW.
The government side contested the report and the committee was instructed to revisit the matter. By some strange coincidence, when Lukyamuzi was away from the House, ostensibly attending a funeral of a close relative, Onek presented a revised report in favour of Butamira being leased to KSW.
Onek stated that Lukyamuziâ€™s report was â€˜doctoredâ€™ to deny KSW the right to use the forest reserve. This resulted in a nasty clash between Lukyamuzi and Onek. Among other things, Onek accused Lukyamuzi of building a house in a wetland while claiming to be an environmentalist. This happened about a year ago, in March.
During the second session, MPs Ndawula Kaweesi and Loyce Bwambale took over committee chairmanship and vice-chairmanship respectively. As an ordinary member, Lukyamuzi has had difficulties influencing the committee to support him on various issues and at times has sharply disagreed with the rest of members.
He has, for instance, fought a lone battle with Syda Bbumba, the Energy Minister, over electricity tariffs. During the consideration of the Land Bill,
Lukyamuzi failed to persuade the committee to propose the scrapping of the sh1,000 busulu payable by bibanja owners (land tenants). Lukyamuzi instead tabled an amendment in the House on the Busulu and the adoption of the amendment bolstered his clout and pride, to the chagrin of the committee.
The decision therefore to investigate whether or not Lukyamuziâ€™s residence is in a wetland, is nothing but a mischievous maneouver to humble him. There are other far more pressing issues to be deal with.
Lukyamuziâ€™s home not an issue