My Name is Joyce Nakato, a reporter with Spark TV, an NTV sister station.
For some time now, I have been talking myself into trying to start a blog but I have been pushing the decision to a later time
But I have decided to try my luck again at writing one.
My blog here will basically revolve around the community stories that I cover for our news bulletin called Agafa Eyo on Spark TV, my personal experiences, and what I think should be done better.
This week, I covered a story on the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected LC1 and LC2 Chairmen of villages in Kawempe division, one of the five divisions that make up Kampala.
The swearing in ceremony was held at Growers Kawempe and was led by the Kawempe Town Clerk Asiimwe Abel Bimbona.
Of course, apart from the political undertones that underlined the entire ceremony from start to finish, there were also a few other occurrences that simply left me shaking my head in wonder.
Some of the newly minted LC1 and LC2 arrived with so much pomp and elegance, one would have been forgiven for thinking that they were arriving for a rally and not a swearing-in ceremony, what with the hired school bands matching ahead of the candidates, and bodaboda riders clearing the way for the candidates as they arrived, waving party flags atop open roof cars. It was all too comical for me to watch.
Other chairmen arrived surrounded by supporters wearing shirts and in some cases dresses with the chairmen’s faced emblazoned on them. I was left wondering whether the humbleness that has for some time now been attached to the LC1’s office has all but been thrown out of the window.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the ceremony had underestimated the number of people who would turn up for the event and as such, they quickly ran out of chairs for both the Chairmen and other attendees to use.
Luckily for them, some young chaps within the neighbourhood quickly sensed an opportunity to make some quick bucks and rented out chairs at 2000 each. Not bad!
Then the dreaded time for taking the oath of office came and you should have seen how some of the chairmen started sweating bullets. To their obvious relief, it was decided that due to their large numbers, they were going to take the oaths in groups and not individually. Even that didn’t save them.
Kawempe has joined a slew of other areas in the country that has had its newly elected village leaders sworn in.
The conundrum, however, is that since the country went for over 15 years without electing village leaders, the majority of the village leaders who were previously serving in this position and lost when they contested in the recently held elections have refused to hand over their offices to the new leaders.
This has thrown village leadership into chaos.
With the old guard unwilling to hand over power and the new guard almost willing to do anything to start exercising its power, locals have been left in turmoil.
In the Kampala area, KCCA believes that handing out new stamps with the KCCA logo will solve this crisis, but that remains to be seen because the stamps have yet to even be procured. The question is, who is going to move the old guard out of office and let the new guard in? Is it the electoral commission, local government or police?
As the swearing-in ceremonies continue, that is one question that I am waiting to see answered.
But to the new village leaders, I wish you the best in your new role.