Nagongera road saga: Okeya’s derogatory statements and impact of mentorship by the kisoko-based kingmaker

(Last Updated On: 17 January 2024)

What you have to know:

  • The kisoko-based mentor and kingmaker is Dr Tanga Odoi
  • This kisoko group doesn’t expect any other interest group from Padhola to emerge or present. 

Tororo I “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument, debate and doubts to offer a solution everybody can understand,” said Gen. Colin Powell.

To me, this makes more sense, especially for those in political leadership where the superiority of arguments, humility with which s/he put his words, and clarity of the message means everything.

Perusing social media this morning, I landed on two (2) audio clips allegedly from Mr. John Okeya, the current LC5 of Tororo district. The language used is very unpalatable, unparental, abhorrent, foul, dishonourable, and classical exhibit of mentorship and imitation of their kisoko kingmaker

In the clips, Mr. Okeya, in a contemptuous and derogatory voice, calls the #Tarmac Nagongera Now activists stupid, who, giving updates and information regarding the demand of #TarmackNagongoraRoadNow, are useless. He goes further to ask them to have a different chairman in the next election rather than demanding answers from him.

 The 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (as amended) especially under article 38 (1&2 read together) establishes three (3) ways in which citizens can participate in the affairs of their country and indeed government (one would be tempted to cite many articles but to keep this write-up shorter and under focus I will restrict myself on article 38).

It states thus, “Every citizen has a right to participate in the affairs of government; 1(a) Individually or (b) through his or her representatives and (c) through civic organizations”

If a citizen is doing this through his elected representatives like our case is with Mr. Okeya, the human rights concept to leadership, then establishes one, “the duty bearer and, two, “the right holder.” 

Also read: 2024, the year Museveni might leave the presidency – writes Odaka 

The right holder (we the voters) has the right to ask all questions, including annoying questions and the duty bearer has a responsibility to answer all questions and be accountable in all circumstances.

The TarmacNagongeraRoadNow is a civic organization provided for under Article 38(2) of the Constitution. Therefore, insulting and demeaning its membership is against the spirit of our grand law that establishes democratic leadership. Where systems actually work, Okeya would be forced to resign.

Unfortunately, the kingmaker from kisoko coaches his admirers only with the concept of a master-servant style of leadership. This carries the assumption that everyone who is not in leadership or who carries a contrary approach is stupid, ignorant, illiterate, poor, and needy. They deserve no answer, no accountability, and no information on anything. 

This kisoko consensus doesn’t expect any other interest group from Padhola to emerge or present an alternative opinion on anything however, developmental ideas might sound. This is how they fought and frustrated the idea of Tororo metropolitan industrial city that would have solved many issues, including the Nagongera road headache. 

Like in most of my writings, I have warned our people about the dangers of this group. This group needs to be politically helped out of the politics of Tororo or even Uganda because they are anti-development, self-centred, and sycophantic.

Mr. Okeya John and indeed many who are in leadership because of the electoral hooliganism masterminded by their kisoko kingmaker don’t owe allegiance to the people because they properly know how their “victories” were achieved.

Also read: UPC’s full statement on national tours, NAM summit and violence

The greatest agenda of this group was to destroy Tieng’Adhola Cultural Institution (TACI) or at least make it powerless, reliant on them, and irrelevant in the eyes of the population. As this is achieved, a power center is built to more or less replace the duty of custodianship and guardianship of TACI. 

The immediate action they embarked on was to build formidable propaganda machinery capable of blackmailing, heckling and shutting anyone to a level impossible to explain yourself. This strategy worked against Sarah Opendi, Othieno Okoth, Osuna Emmanuel, and Dr. Ojonyi (former Jago), among others. They then embarked on capturing all established groupings of Japadhola (youth and old) not with intentions to develop but to destroy them. 

This is how Adhola Winnkune, etc., fell victim. Their operation was a highly planned move, which was to end with the capture of all institutions, and groupings, and be the sole and primary voice from Padhola directing courses of events as they wished.

Some of us detected this deadly plan, and at the very high risk of being misunderstood, we launched opposition against them. This is how we moved quickly to register “The Jopadhola Community (TJC)” as a platform to mobilize Jopadhola and salvage what we could.

We all know the stiff opposition TJC faced, including sabotaging activities and blackmailing the promoters. We did this not because we underestimated the deadliness of this group but because we love Padhola more.

We then took a decision that at the individual level, everyone does something they can do best because we were prepared never to allow this group to destroy Padhola, not when we are alive.

On my part, I decided to use my limited writing skills to expose them and their (mis)activities at a time when it was extremely risky to confront them. They threatened me, including with death, which they still do to date.

Using their hired propaganda machinery, they started selling false information that I was fighting TACI. But because truth and falsehood are like oil and water, only a matter of time, oil like truth will eventually float. All my information is collaborative.

To this day, I still wonder why people could not see through these people’s actions. To make Kwara look a little irrelevant, smaller and less impactful than them, they were fond of announcing how they were rulers of the whole of Uganda (yet we all know the limitedness of their offices in terms of national precedent) and not bothered by mere Tororo district, Padhola or small things like constituencies.

 The idea behind this was to make them look bigger, powerful, and invincible beyond anyone else; including Kwara (the reverse psychology is complex).

The other way the group undermined Kwara was by deliberately arriving late for a function or ceremony they knew Kwara was present. And on their arrival, they demand recognition and to speak even when our King has already spoken, offending both cultural and national order of precedence. 

In their love to vend fear and hover pomp, to show how powerful they are, members of the group love showing off with guns and bodyguards even when they are amongst people who pose no danger to them

The damage this group has caused on Padhola and, indeed Tororo district is beyond conversation and can’t be seen by an ordinary thinker. At the level of Padhola, the group has frustrated the completion of the Palace; they have watered down the esteem of TACI and killed the pride of Jopadhola.  

They bow freely, insult people as stupid, block legitimate advocacy, and frustrate, and sabotage other promising and successful Jopadhola just like they have frustrated the effort to free David Chandi Jamwa. Their incompetence, corruption and unclear-headedness have caused uncertainty on the idea of an industrial park in Tororo, they blocked and frustrated the elevation of Tororo into a metropolitan industrial city and above all gave Tororo constant negative publicity. 

Having been in the team that opposed this group from day one, I am optimistic that it’s possible to neutralize them. Therefore, putting leadership on the right path and in the hands of well-meaning and properly nurtured people must be our collective duty. 

Without them, we then outline our development agenda and priorities as Padhola and Tororo generally do. For now, since Mr. Okeya, his mentor and cohorts, think Jopadhola, including Kwara, who have thrown their weights behind #TheTarmackNagongeraRoad, are stupid, it’s our civic duty to help them out.

The writer, Odaka Asuman, is a Japadhola and Secretary General of National Economic Empowerment Dialogue-NEED

Tel. +256 753 195 384 I Email: I Twitter/X: odakaa


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