We need another ‘Musisi’ in UMEME

Kampala Capital City Authority Executive Director Jennifer Musisi
Kampala Capital City Authority Executive Director Jennifer Musisi

Kampala, Uganda | By Alan Kasujja | As I write this, I have gone three straight days without electricity. There has been no coherent reason or excuse from whomever is responsible. That can only be because they do not think we deserve one or because the flimsy explanations they have peddled in the past no longer make sense to them either.

I can understand the fact that there are capacity issues and until Bujagali is able to contribute more power to the national grid, there will be insufficient power to go round.

But to go three days without electricity – regardless of the capacity being generated – is unacceptable. It illustrates the inefficiency Ugandans are being subjected to by those entrusted with the delivery of basic services.

It is difficult to remain patriotic in these circumstances. I have on more than one occasion wished I could live in a more civilised environment where my productivity would not be so adversely affected as it is by the chaotic nature of our service delivery in Uganda.

That thought has recently been suppressed by the emergence of Kampala’s new Executive Director Jennifer Musisi.

When I interviewed Erias Lukwago, I was stunned by the incredible journey he had travelled to become the politician he is today. I admire and respect his resilience to hardship that has characterised his entire life.

Yet, if I was to choose between his politically motivated and mostly populist opinions on how Kampala should be run and Musisi’s seeming resolve to do the right thing for Kampala, I would not think twice. I would take Musisi.

Our capital city is one huge compost heap. It stinks, it’s disorganised and it’s in dire need of major surgery. Kampala has been raped and plundered by politicians for more than two decades now. I am therefore praying that the Lord Mayor stays out of the management of the city. His participation should be restricted to the formulation policy and, even then, his opinions should be persuasive and not binding on the KCCA.

Musisi on the other hand should be allowed to clean up the city and make it more efficient. I hope she is able to get rid of the taxis and boda bodas in the city centre. To pre-empt the possibility of Lukwago and so-called poorer people in the city from playing victim, she should charge prohibitive amounts of money for those wishing to drive into the city in their private cars. Many of us who do so would gladly use public means if KCCA helped them get their act together.

Thankfully, she has the political support she needs to pull off this daunting task. And if she fails, it will not be for lack of trying.

If we had a few more Musisis handling such important services like our electricity sector or the health sector, the thought of living elsewhere would certainly not occur.