KAMPALA. Kampala Capital City Authority boss Jenifer Musisi yesterday threw a spanner in the works when she queried the draft KCCA Bill which the Kampala minister, Ms Beti Olive Kamya took to Parliament.
In what some lawmakers have called “a case of uncoordinated troops”, in a May 15 letter to Ms Kamya, Ms Musisi wondered why the Bill was re-submitted to Parliament without her consent yet the same Minister had proposed to withdraw the same Bill.
‘…I am not aware of whether or not there was a review of the 2015 Bill and what the outcome of such a review was, neither am I aware of the background to the proposals being presented and to be discussed by Parliament,” Ms Musisi’s letter reads in part.
Ms Musisi’s letter is also copied to the President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Prime Minister, State Minister for Kampala Affairs, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Presidential Affairs, the Lord Mayor and to all the five division mayors.
In the letter, Ms Musisi complained that she has been hearing from press reports that a Bill proposing amendments to the KCCA Act was presented to Parliament on May 11.
“… I was taken unaware since I did not know that the Bill was being re-submitted to Parliament or what the proposed amendments therein are,” adds the letter.
She also explained that although Ms Kamya had communicated to her on the government intentions to withdraw the Bill and re-submit it after appropriate action, she later halted the plan.
In a July 20 2016 by the Kampala Ministry’s Under Secretary, Mr Samuel Baker Emiku, Ms Kamya had requested the KCCA boss to nominate an officer to attend a meeting to be held on July 22, 2016 at the Office of the President boardroom, 3rd floor commencing at 10am to review the Bill and raise any other issues that were not covered in the current principals under consideration.
However, Mr Emiku wrote to Musisi the following day (July 21 2016), informing her that the meeting which was scheduled to discuss the Bill on July 22, had been cancelled.
Although Ms Kamya is currently out of the country, when asked why Ms Musisi was not consulted before re-tabling the proposed amendments to the KCCA law, Mr Emiku said it wasn’t necessary since the matter was already before Parliament.
“When the Bill is before Parliament, it means that it is out of the public hands and that’s why the executive director couldn’t be consulted,” Mr Emiku said. State minister for Kampala Affairs, Ms Benny Namugwanya tabled the Bill last week. Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and other politicians in Kampala, however, reacted with consternation and vowed to block the amendments which they said were being proposed in bad faith. Mr Lukwago called it “a political Bill” meant to eject him from KCCA and asked MPs to block it in public interest.
Although the Bill seeks to scrap off the elections of the Lord Mayor by adult suffrage among other disputed amendments, Ms Kamya has since made a U-turn, saying that instead of disfranchising Kampala people, they will maintain the elections but amend the roles of the players at City Hall to reduce the current power stalemate.
Section 11 of the current KCCA Act mandates the Lord Mayor as the political head of the city and also the chairperson of the authority where policies will be made and then submitted to the minister for approval.