By GRACE NAKATO
Two heads are better than one is a phrase that can only be applied if, like the tandem bike, both work in unison.
In the case of police and the matatu association traffic wardens, the relationship works very well because one keeps all motorists in check while the other ensures his boys do not get out of hand.
Maybe it is because the executive director is a presidential appointment and the mayor is an elected official. The only similarity between them is that they have the same job description or docket — mainly to ensure smooth running of the city by collection of revenues. Otherwise they are like chalk and cheese in every other aspect.
He is a traditional African male who consults elders before making a decision. She is a young Beijing trained advocate. He is a lawyer, she a tax collector. They say opposites attract but in this case, the magnitude of repulsion can only be measured using a Richter scale.
The Mayor’s cronies are of the opinion that, “One who chases you away does not tell you ‘leave’” considering that when she took office, she was awarded twice his pay and does not consult him or allow him to make any decisions.
She has made inroads in areas that had untouchables. Boda boda riders are now licensed and carry ID cards. Hawkers are registered and have designated spots. Police have also benefited in that those who lacked housing have taken up residence in the confiscated kiosks that remain unclaimed.
Some of us Kampalans want things to remain the way they have always been, where money does all the talking. Buildings could be put up on sewer lines or even collapse and nothing would happen as long as the pockets of the city officials were lined.
We are angry because the changes are taking away our pet peeves. We can no longer complain about the congestion on the streets and boda boda riders can no longer exercise their right of way on pavements during peak hours, which greatly hinders my ability to get home to catch up with the local gossip on that local station that professes to bring “News without dust” — fresh, hot news.
However, I do agree that the mayor we elected into office should have power to discuss the proposed changes and their effects on city dwellers.
I am also wondering whether it is more important to beautify the city by fixing the pavements and plant various bushes and grass on the road islands or whether a pothole free city would be a far prettier sight to behold.
Perhaps, a HR consultant can be hired to divide the jobs into various categories and allocate them purely on the basis of skill.