KAMPALA. The Minister for Kampala Affairs, Ms Beti Olive Kamya, has succumbed to pressure from Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) political wing to attend council meeting on Monday and explain the relevance of tabling the controversial 2015 KCCA Amendment Bill to Parliament.
This will be Ms Kamya’s first time to attend KCCA council meeting since both parties assumed office in June last year. She had snubbed the previous meetings on grounds that she was not supposed to attend council.
In her June 13, 2017 letter addressed to Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Ms Kamya confirmed her attendance. “…the minister will attend the sitting as invited and present a ministerial statement on the KCCA Amendment Bill currently before Parliament,” the letter parts in part.
Ms Kamya’s letter is also copied to the State minister for Kampala Affairs, KCCA executive director, Kampala Resident City Commissioner (RCC), the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Kampala and the clerk to council.
Although Kamya had earlier been invited by Mr Lukwago to attend council, which took place on Monday this week, Ms Kamya said she would not attend, arguing that her presentation on the Bill was not reflected on the order paper.
“…I would therefore suggest that the minister will wait to make a statement to the council until the appropriate time is found by the authority for the same. The minister will then be informed in writing in advance and the matter reflected in the order paper of council,” reads her June 8 letter to Mr Lukwago.
During council, the Nakawa Male councillor, Mr Kennedy Okello (FDC), moved a motion to write back to the minister and put her presentation on the order paper for the next meeting so that they could make a comprehensive resolution as council.
The minister’s acceptance to attend the Monday meeting comes at a time when KCCA is racing against time to present to the Presidential Affairs Committee about their stand on the controversial Bill.
The Kawempe Male councillor, Mr Micheal Zzigwa Wamala, said: “We are happy that the minister will officially make a presentation to us about this controversial Bill. Her coming is a good gesture to start a good working relationship. ”
When Ms Kamya’s deputy, Ms Benny Namugwanya, tabled the Bill in Parliament on May 9, 2017, the Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, gave a deadline of 45 days for the Presidential Committee, which oversees KCCA, to report back and present their findings about the Bill.
Of the 45 days, the committee is left with only 18 days and before it reports to Parliament, it will first summon KCCA to present their stand on the Bill.
The Bill seeks to streamline the roles of players at City Hall to mitigate intrigue, which is allegedly caused by the current law.
For instance, it intends to make the minister the political head of the city, a proposal Mr Lukwago has since rejected.
Mr Lukwago, who majority of political analysts say is the target of the Bill, expressed concern that the council’s delay to make a resolution on the Bill was risky because Presidential Affairs Committee could summon them any time yet they are not yet prepared.
“By sending this matter back to the select committee, we shall be betraying ourselves yet we have the powers as council to pass a resolution that will help us overcome this obnoxious Bill,” he said.
KCCA executive director, who is also currently feuding with Ms Kamya over the Bill, declined to present to council on the matter, pledging to do so when the minister appears next week.