KAMPALA, Uganda: The Acholi have a proverb that says; ‘whatever goes up comes down’. The Investigator can reveal that the plot to have motor-mouthed NRM Electoral Commission Chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi booted out has started in high gear.
Highly placed sources revealed to us in confidence that even President Museveni, the Party chairman is now ‘tired’ and has vowed to have the will of the majority party members decision obeyed, at least this time round.
The resolve, we have heard is being fronted by top NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) officials (names withheld) who want Tanga Odoi ‘punished’ under the party disciplinary structures. The issue is expected to come up on the heels of the ‘Age limit Removal’ party for the 317 MPs who supported the amendment that is due in Kiboga.
We have received reports from highly placed State House sources that the President who has been busy with the hosting of the EAC summit that ended on Friday, has asked his protocol to invite the two NRM officials, Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba and Tanga Odoi, to have a solution sought for their woes before it is tabled and handled by CEC.
Like the saying that whatever goes around comes around, the Presidential Advisor on security in Buganda Rtd. Brig. General Kasirye Ggwanga has blasted and described Tanga Odoi as a ‘first class idiot’ who should go slow on attacking NRM leaders and tainting the image of the ruling party.
“Who is Tanga Odoi? I heard him abusing the whole Secretary General. He is just an idiot. He must go slow before we stop him. Tanga must know that Kasule Lumumba is his boss. He is a first class idiot. I think he has reached his limits, and as bush war heroes, we shall advice that he gets booted,” roared Kasirye Ggwanga on a local FM radio on Saturday morning.
Speaking to the Investigator in a phone interview, Kasirye, who never ends in controversial statements, a man who boasts of how he once used a gun to kill a fly, said much as he is not an NRM, he put in place mechanisms that brought NRM to power. “Tanga Odoi used to organise strikes in Makerere University. We know that. He must stop his sh**t. He can’t continue using the radio to abuse leaders in our region. We shall stop him,” said Kasirye Ggwanga.
To drive his point home he referred to the now incarcerated Boda Boda 2010 boss, Abdul Kitata. “It is a known fact that we (security) were working together with Kitata. We wanted him to give us information, but as he did this, his life was endangered and requested for protection which we did by giving him a weapon for self defence but he overstretched the limit and misused our trust. We had to tame him, now he is in Luzira.”
Kasirye said Kitata was taking himself as a king. “When I saw in the news how his boys were torturing innocent school children, I drove to his offices in Rubaga but didn’t find him. I left a warning for him to stop his acts. Not so long, you all know what happened. So let Odoi Tanga go slow, we rule this country.”
It all started early this week when Justine Lumumba announced a restructuring process, where over 400 employees would be relieved of their duties over salary payment challenges. The workers had gone seven months without wages.
Tanga however blamed Lumumba’s failure to have the workers at the secretariat paid for close to nine months vide poor administration, inexperience and maintaining ghost workers. Tanga described Lumumba as a “good dancer” and “field mobilizer” who lacks administrative and managerial skills.
“Lumumba unfortunately did not go to high institutions like me; where you could go to Makerere University and see how administration flows. She was a district education officer then a parliamentarian. I pity her,” Tanga said.
The Investigator established that Lumumba holds a Bachelors of Arts in Education degree from Makerere University that she attained in 1997, as well as a Masters in International Relations attained in 2007. This verbal attack on Lumumba has since attracted criticism, with some cadres within NRM accusing him of bad manners.
But, just before the NRM district chairpersons called for the sacking of Tanga Odoi, Justine Lumumba too hit back. Lumumba, the former NRM Chief Whip warned Tang Odoi to stop taking bedroom matters into the public.
“I am a woman, I have to dress for my man and lipstick is part of my dressing, my man loves my lipstick so I don’t see why Tanga Odoi should make it an issue, and by the way, it is my seductive dance that has brought success to the party,” she said adding; “By the way, swinging my bum is God given, I didn’t know that his eyes go beyond that, I will continue dancing as I work for my party. I didn’t know that when I dance it pains some people, but God gave me a bum let me dance my Kadodi with it.
As the pressure mounts to have Tanga Odoi step down, 15 district chairpersons and regional coordinators have also called on party chairman President Yoweri Museveni to ‘take action’ against Tanga Odoi. This was in a meeting they held at Kati-Kati, a popular bar and restaurant in Kampala midweek.
The district leaders observed that Tanga’s disrespectful character is unbecoming and intolerable among party cadres, requiring immediate replacement. “We as chairpersons also have issues but we cannot call you the media to bring out our dirty linen in the public. This is the time President Museveni, our party chairman should remove Tanga,” Twaha Kiggundu the forum chairperson said.
Wakiso NRM youth leader Joseph Sewava said the youth had already written to the president over Tanga’s indiscipline. “Tanga is not a cadre; we hired him to help us. We thought he would organize elections but he has failed to recognize protocol. The Secretary General is the principal soul of the party,” Sewava said.
Despite Lumumba’s notice of firing all workers, Tanga Odoi opposed the directive insisting that ‘his’ few workers at the commission will stay in office. “I have 27 workers here at plot 13 while plot 10 has hundreds of workers and these will continue to work even after the two month deadline expires,” said Odoi.
Commenting on the calls by NRM District Chairpersons to step down, Tanga Odoi said: “I cannot be fired by people from a bar and I won’t resign. Let us address the issues. Let Lumumba show us the list of her staff at plot 10. We want to know the number of party workers at the secretariat, how they got the jobs and which offices they work for such that we can cut off all the ghost workers.”
“I will not stop talking about issues that spoil this party, I love NRM and I know what I’m doing,” said Tanga Odoi. However during the Saturday Capita Gang Talk show on 91.3 FM, CEC member, Lydia Wanyoto and Government Spokesman Ofwono Opondo all ruled Dr. Tanga Odoi out of order.
Wanyoto said Tanga’s action must be contained for the better of the party. “I am speaking as a CEC member. How can Tanga odoi start attacking the whole Secretary General about dancing and lip stick? That is indiscipline and lack of respect. I think leaders must know how to relate. Tanga must know that Lumumba is his boss,” said Lydia Wanyoto.
Ofwono on his part said: “Tanga Odoi must know that the Secretary General is the top most official of the Secretariat. All the five commissioners report directly to her including the Electoral Commission boss.”