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By Mulengera Reporters

Between the 2016 campaigns and the time he began showing public disgruntlement (peripherally sheltering under People Power before finally accepting a post in DP), singer Jose Chameleon had grown very frustrated. And his disappointment had a lot to do with very high Tobanga Nawe project-related expectations that President Museveni didn’t meet.

At the start of the Tubonga Nawe project, an initially very reluctant Chameleon was talked into the deal by Bebe Cool and Museveni’s lawyer Kiwanuka Kiryowa. The promise was he would be paid Shs4m for every rally he attended and performed at. Before signing onto the contract, Chameleon was given the impression he would in the three months period bag up to Shs1.8bn. That would be if he performed at every rally. But he expected much more just like the rest of the Tubonga Nawe crew members. The false thinking was that being one music promoter Peter Sematimba kept describing as nanyini sente (owner of all the money in Uganda), Museveni would dip his hand into state coffers and pay the singers much more as a lumpsum after the campaign. The musicians expected much more including Museveni accepting to pay tuition fees for their children in the best international schools around. Some demanded sponsorship to enroll in best training institutions in Malaysia, Canada, US and Europe.

Photographic representation showing Chameleon and some of the musicians who participated in Tubonga Nawe. In there is also the PPS Molly Kamukama and other State House minders who were occasionally involved in facilitating musicians for the Tubonga Nawe project

They also expected he would give them his direct telephone line and they be calling him directly on reelection without going through the PPS Molly Kamukama. They took him to be one that was capable of doing anything for them being a very powerful President of the land. So, when an opportunity to meet Museveni, with whom they would share the stage throughout the campaigning period, came Chameleon registered his wish to have all his children enrolled in the best international schools in Kampala. He perhaps wanted to emulate the likes of KK whose kids study in big schools like Heritage.

Chameleon went on trying to liaise with Museveni’s handlers as if to follow up on the promise to ensure the big man doesn’t forget. He specifically targeted PPS Molly Kamukama who he rightly must have estimated was the most powerful of the H.E.’s secretaries. She kept politely telling him ‘we shall talk to the President and see’ yet in actual sense she was just being polite. There is no way Chameleon’s demands would be catered for because the international schools he was looking at charge $40,000 per term and that isn’t the range within which Museveni sponsors children under the State House scholarship scheme that is managed and controlled through Comptroller Lucy Nakyobe.

So, during one of the post-2016 election meetings Museveni held to thank the Tubonga Nawe crew members (and to also lecture them on wealth creation), Chameleon went native. He exploded before the President saying “I don’t like that woman because she is the one frustrating your promises to us.” He was asked which lady and he referred to Molly Kamukama who gratefully was also in the meeting. The singer from Kawempe fumed saying by now the President’s promise to sponsor his kids in international schools would have been fulfilled if it wasn’t her sabotage. Museveni signaled Molly to explain and the babe from Kiruhura said “Your excellence there is no way I can frustrate anything; the only problem is Mr. Mayanja’s demands are unreasonable and beyond what can be provided under the State House scholarship scheme.”

Museveni, who was increasingly becoming disgusted by the never-ending demands for material things from musicians some of whom would openly brag its them who secured his 2016 reelection, turned to lecture Chameleon (whom he kept calling Mr. Mayanja). Just like Molly had indicated earlier, Museveni stressed that the State House scholarship scheme covers children who are ready to study in Kampala’s good public schools whose tuition can easily be afforded by him and not the $40,000-per term international schools Chameleon was insisting on having his children in. The big-name musician’s children currently study at Greenhill Academy where they pay Shs1.5m per term in tuition fees.

Chameleon was focused on schools like SMACK, Namagunga, Nabisunsa and Kings College Budo as some of those whose tuition State House can afford. He remained adamant it had to be international schools. “Mr. Mayanja lets be realistic. The President of Uganda has many demands to meet. He has to look after 45m Ugandans and not only musicians. The 45m Ugandans require roads, hospitals and schools. So, there is no way I can spend so much money on just musicians when there are many other categories of Ugandans that have to be served,” Museveni reportedly said during the meeting imploring Chameleon and others to grow up and become more realistic in their demands. “You are all my children here. Let me also advise you because some of you have been demanding to be supported to send your children to what you call good schools in Europe and North America. We need to nurture our children until they are 18 because those formative years are very important if we are to protect them not to learn the bad vices of those people.”

The manner in which Museveni disapprovingly reacted to Chameleon on having too much expectations for material things from him cowed many other musicians and it explains why some of them realized the too much money they expected was after all not going to be milked from Museveni and that is how some of them openly embraced People Power. In the same meeting, musicians had carried proposals for businesses Museveni would fund as a token of appreciation for the support they rendered. But on going through the individual proposals, Museveni was appalled. Some of the guys proposed as much as Shs5bn prompting him to intriguingly ask where they think he gets all that money from. Some State House handlers also wondered why musicians whose services were paid for as contracted through lawyer Kiryowa insisted on continuing to ransom the President like that as if they had been made to sing at his rallies for free. (For comments, call/text us on 0200900416 or email us at








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