Joseph Nkaheza, the young inventor from western Uganda, has finished his locally made car and painted it yellow as a show of devotion for the ruling National Resistance Movement [NRM].
During 2018 Labour Day celebrations held in Sembabule district, Nkaheza approached President Museveni and showed him his locally made plane.
A Primary Seven leaver, Nkaheza, 29, is the brain behind Uganda’s first private and locally made helicopter and a 12-feet motorbike called “Rubalusimo” which uses only steam instead of fuel.
“I asked for government help because I need like Shs500m to finish my projects and work on the new one then-a car.”
President Museveni who was overly impressed with Nkaheza’s bike said Shs500m was a lot and ordered that they give the inventor Shs200m.
“He told me to work hard and then present my inventions to him afterwards,” Nkaheza told edge.ug on Saturday.
The task to avail these funds was given to Proscovia Nalweyiso, an adviser to the President on military matters.
At the rank of Lieutenant General, she is the highest ranking female officer, in the Ugandan military.
“Nalweyiso gave me wrong numbers. When I got her actual number, she called me to her office at State House Nakasero. I went there but she tossed me claiming she was busy,” the inventor narrated.
A frustrated Nkaheza went back home and waited for five months.
“I returned after 5 months and Nalweyiso said it was my area MP [Charles Ngabirano of Rwampara County] who would settle my issues. MP Ngabirano had already given me Shs200,000 from his own money. Now, I am in Mbarara Municipality of MP Michael Tusiime who has never given me anything.”
In the end, Nkaheza gave up the Shs200m donation the president had promised him and decided to soldier on.
When MTN was celebrating 20 years last year, Nkaheza tried to show his plane to Minister of Information Technology and Communications Frank Tumwebaze but the Kibale East MP dodged claiming lack of time.
“When I call Frank Tumwebaze, he receives and tells me it’s a wrong number.”
Why yellow car
In March this year, Nkaheza told edge.ug he had invented a car that consumes very little fuel.
“It consumes little fuel like a motorcycle [boxer]. I used a motorcycle engine,” he explained.
The car is made out of scrap materials, iron sheets, plastics, wood and a screen. It runs 160km per hour and has indicators which work perfectly well.
He needed Shs24m to finish the car, set up a training institute and equip youth with technical skills.
Asked why he decided to paint the car yellow [NRM colour], Nkaheza said he thought of other colours for present political parties but was disappointed.
He started by approaching Roland Mugume Kaginda, the MP for Rukungiri Municipality who is also the FDC’s deputy president in charge of western region.
Kaginda was supposed to connect the inventor to opposition figure Kizza Besigye but this never materialised.
“He gave me Shs20,000 and claimed it was Shs200,000 on his Facebook page.”
Desperate for support from all corners, Nkaheza approached Nyanzi Fred Ssentamu commonly known as Chairman Nyanzi.
“I found him in Kamwokya and he promised to connect me to his brother and Kyadondo East MP Bobi Wine. As we talk now, he doesn’t reply my messages.”
Nkaheza concluded that “these people [opposition politicians] are just looking for funds from outside so they can survive. There is no need painting my car in their colours when they aren’t working for the good of other Ugandan.”
That is why Nkaheza decided to paint his car yellow—the colour of the ruling NRM party because only the President has showed determination to help him.
“I want to be able to show it to the president. NRM invited me for Labour Day celebrations in Agago district but I failed to attend. Now they are calling me for Women’s Day which I hope to attend and show the car to President Museveni.”
In his analysis, James Kasiriivu “The Great”, who worked as a current affairs show host on Mbarara’s Endigyito FM hosting “World Express” programme, government should have sponsored Nkaheza the inventor of the Mbarara helicopter that nearly cost his life.
He said before risking his life, Nkaheza lacked both the physics and technical know-how into how to assemble a controlled flying object.
“However, the fact that the helicopter this illiterate Ugandan was trying to assemble lifted him up though it eventually crashed nearly killing him, his project was a success because, his first time for him to be in the air was in his locally made copter, again Nkaheza is the first Ugandan to try flying a petrol engine supported helicopter.”
“Now, if such a low education primary drop out could sit and think of something even a physics professor can’t, then why should government look into it and help him out for further studies or sponsor him abroad to meet people like him who harbour intentions of ever becoming big inventors despite not having formal education or enough skills in their areas of interested inventories?”
Nkaheza made the helicopter to help in mechanized agriculture through aerial spray of crops.
To help in controlling traffic for emergency cases like delivering pregnant women, he needs to invest Shs56m to accomplish this project.
The helicopter still needs about Shs122m to purchase a gas wielding equipment, aerial engine, aluminium materials, helicopter bucked seat and computer systems.
Nkaheza, 29, from Mwizi, Rwampara County in Mbarara district says his gadgets all use at least 85% Ugandan materials.