KAMPALA | Of the many things Lubaga South MP Kato Lubwama can tolerate, being challenged on helping push the cause of his colleague Robert Kyagulanyi in Parliament is certainly not one of them.
On Friday evening, Lubwama appeared on Spark TV’s Koone ne Miles Rwamiti programme. The MP, who earned his collar in theatre as a comedian, was considered by Rwamiti as having a background that fitted the bill in discussing the recent challenges music promoters are going through in light of Police blocking some shows.
But the debate had to end prematurely after Lubwama lost his head to persistent taunts from music promoter Andrew Bajjo, who repeatedly castigated the Lubaga South MP for allegedly doing nothing to help MP Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.
“You have remained silent while the government repeatedly attacks a fellow artiste Bobi Wine and keeps blocking his music concerts,” Bajjo told Lubwama, who sat with his knees together and arms folded across his tummy.
“Look at Joseph Ssewungu, he is not even an artiste, but continues to root for Bobi Wine, but what do you do in Parliament? You just remain silent. There is nothing you are doing in Parliament,” he added.
MP Lubwama had already taken in quite a barrage of verbal attacks from Bajjo, especially on his command of the English language, but the citation of Bobi Wine got to him.
He threw a slap that would have passed without incident except that he was already boiled and in a pugilist’s mood. The MP kicked the table and sprung to his feet, tried to rain punches on Bajjo.
But Bajjo, leaner and lithe, kept Lubwama at arms length and was springing his counterattack when Rwamiti and another panelist on the show stepped in to separate the two. By this time Lubwama had already jumped back ready to flee the studio.
Before Bajjo launched into the issue of Bobi Wine, he had gone for the usual jest that Kato Lubwama is not well-versed with English language.
“We promoters spent the whole of yesterday in Parliament to raise issues affecting us and the local music industry,” he said. “The people there [legislators] are bright and know English, Kato can’t match them, what legislation can he do when can’t even speak English?”
At this, Lubwama threw back a challenge that the Luganda show should be conducted in English so he can show his proficiency in the language.
“Let us debate in English, I don’t want us to proceed with mad people on the show, let us change the programme to English,” Lubwama said.
Speaking to ChimpReports, an online news site, MP Lubwama said he had apologised to NTV Uganda but will never apologise to Bajjo. NTV Uganda is the parent company of Spark TV.
“I have already apologized to NTV for what I did, but I will not apologize to him… I only attempted to slap him [Bajjo]. If I had slapped him he’d have fallen down,” Lubwama is quoted by the website as saying.
He said Bajjo has been disrespectful to other musicians before and suggested his actions could motivate the others to “come out and try to punish him.”
Bobi Wine’s concerts have recently come under strict censor from the State with Police repeatedly blocking him from performing. In September, his planned show in Namboole was cancelled with the stadium management giving several unconvincing excuses.
Police eventually cleared the Kyarenga concert to take place at Bobi Wine’s private estate in Busabaala. However, they were back full swing earlier this month when they raided a hotel Bobi Wine had booked into in Jinja and forced all his crew back to Kampala.
Police did not give reasons for blocking the concert in Jinja town. Angry at the blockade, music promoters and events managers this week petitioned Parliament to intervene in their interests, saying they have incurred huge losses for failing to host concerts involving Bobi Wine after initial booking and advertisement.
In Parliament, Bobi Wine raised his concerns on the floor, to which Security minister Elly Tumwine claimed that blocking his shows was occupational hazard.