KAMPALA– The Minister for Kampala Affairs, Ms Beti Kamya, has rejected resolutions which were passed by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) council.
On March 15, the KCCA council resolved to suspend the budgetary process until Ms Kamya explained the cuts to the council budget.
The councillors also passed a resolution condemning the minister’s role in the eviction of Park Yard market vendors and further resolved to sue her for allegedly defying the council. They resolved to reject her directives to the council.
However, on May 22, the State minister for Kampala Affairs, Ms Benny Namugwanya, wrote to KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi stating that the Kampala minister had rejected the Council resolutions under the powers bestowed upon her in Sections 79 (3) and (4) of the KCCA Act.
Government had allocated Shs563b to KCCA for the 2016/18 budget, but this amount was later reduced to Shs314b, which the councillors protested. They resolved to suspend the 2017/18 budgetary process until the minister explains the budget cut.
“…the budget cuts in question were done across the board in line with the decision taken by Cabinet to set aside funds for urgent requirements. I advise council that their participation in the budget is their cardinal role,” Ms Namugwanya’s letter to Ms Musisi reads in part.
The letter was copied to the Attorney General William Byaruhanga and Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.
Under Section 7 of the KCCA Act, the Authority’s role is to initiate and formulate policy, set service delivery standards, determine taxation levels, monitor general administration and provision of services and enact legislation for the proper management of the capital city.
When Park Yard market was demolished in March by city businessman Hamis Kiggundu, the council resolved that KCCA should take Ms Kamya to court for directing KCCA to approve the Nakivubo redevelopment plans, which led to the demolition of the market yet the council had blocked the project following queries on how the Nakivubo land was given to Mr Kiggundu.
In her letter, Ms Namugwanya contends that the KCCA council’s decision to sue the minister for Kampala Affairs for lawfully exercising her mandate would be contrary to Section 79 (3) of the KCCA Act which she says allows the minister latitude to depart from council resolutions.
“…the Minister advises that no resources of the authority should be misused in instituting a lawsuit. This matter should be referred to police for investigation and those found liable be held accountable under the law,” the minister’s letter adds.
Ms Namugwanya denied that she or Kamya knew anything about the Shs200m which Mr Kiggundu allegedly gave the Park Yard vendors for relocation. She said it is unfair for Council to demand accountability of the said money.