A cabinet minister has said the executive, the legislature and judiciary lacked a ‘collegial’ working relationship during Amama Mbabazi’s reign as prime minister.
Water and Environment Minister Ephraim Kamuntu made the comment at the launch of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation’s (NWSC) Lubaga Water Community Communication Clubs (WACOCO) on Friday.
Prof Kamuntu blamed the sacked premier for the frosty relationship between the three arms of government.
“During [Apolo] Nsibambi’s reign as prime minister, we had a very collegial relationship between the arms of government. [But] we really miss that in government now,” Kamuntu said, explaining that Mbabazi’s removal was necessary.
Nsibambi, who served as prime minister for 12 years, compared to Mbabazi’s three, was one of the senior residents of Lubaga division present at the WACOCO event. Mbabazi’s reign as leader of government business coincided with a fractious relationship with Parliament over issues such as the expulsion of ‘rebel’ MPs, the debate on the death of Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda and the oil bribery scandal, among others.
Nsibambi’s reign, in contrast, was largely devoid of such hair-raising moments. In his earlier remarks, Nsibambi praised Prof Kamuntu for a job well- done as Water and Environment minister. Referring to the short-lived presidency of the late Prof Yusuf Lule, who ruled the country for only 68 days, Nsibambi said Kamuntu’s success at the ministry has disproved assertions that academics don’t make good performers in politics.
The former prime minister disclosed that when he was still in office, he pleaded for 12 years in vain to get water connected to his farm in Buloba. Now he is closer to getting it, thanks to Kamuntu’s hands-on style of work, Nsibambi said.
As a reward, he offered the minister a copy of his latest book, National Integration In Uganda 1962-2013. Meanwhile, Nsibambi appealed to Lubaga division residents to take advantage of the newly-launched water community clubs to report theft and leakages.
Water utility company NWSC hopes to reduce the amount of non- revenue water losses through such community communications clubs. Already, Kampala Water, which covers Kampala Metropolitan and neighbouring Wakiso areas, has reported a drop in water theft, thanks to WACOCO operations.
Through WACOCO, NWSC has set up a surveillance network for its infrastructure in each village after establishing contact with local leaders. Apart from the Kampala area, NWSC currently covers 73 towns across the country.
NWSC Managing Director Dr Silver Mugisha has set himself a target of 100 per cent coverage by the end of 2018.