Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has appealed to Members of Parliament to reject the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Amendment Bill, 2017 and send it back to cabinet.
Appearing before Parliament’s Presidential Affairs Committee chaired by Adjumani Woman MP Jessica Ababiku today, Tuesday, Lukwago argued that the Bill lacks merit, describing the government move as an act of fraud and dishonesty.
The Lord Mayor appeared together with a group of KCCA councillors to submit their views on the Bill currently under scrutiny.
The Bill seeks to provide for the Lord Mayor to be elected by the Council from the councillors, to clarify the roles of the Lord Mayor and to rationalise the provisions relating to the Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority with the structure and provisions relating to the Capital City Authority and related matters.
The preamble to the Bill states that it is erroneous to provide for the Lord Mayor to have executive powers and as the political head of the Capital City yet Kampala is administered by the Central Government where the minister should be the political head with executive powers.
The Bill further restricts the qualifications of contenders to those qualified to be Members of Parliament implying that contenders must possess an Advanced Level Certificate of Education or its equivalent. The mother act provided for qualification of the Lower Urban Councils as O-Level or its equivalent while the only qualification required of councillors Under the Local Government Act is to be a citizen of Uganda.
In his statement, Lukwago strongly opposed the Bill citing a resolution which was passed on 22nd June 2017 by the Authority Council to the effect that the Minister in charge of Kampala Beti Kamya immediately cause the Bill to be recalled from Parliament.
He said that the Bill is ill-intended and a mere replica of an earlier amendment, tabled in 2015 by Kamya’s predecessor Frank Tumwebaze, currently the Information Minister.
Lukwago’s submission did not go well with some of the legislators sitting on the committee with the Nyabushozi County MP Col Fred Mwesigye accusing the Lord Mayor of to waste the committee’s time, by trying to discuss something he is totally opposed to.
However, Lukwago maintained his stand, saying he was presenting a common position by the elected leaders of the Authority and not his personal views. He appealed to parliament to send back the Bill to cabinet before warning that if it is passed in its current form, they are to seek legal redress.
Lukwago demanded that the Bill should first take a consultative path before being presented to Parliament saying that it is currently one sided and biased. He also cited an earlier government commitment on a dialogue that was envisaged to solve the internal wrangles at City Hall.
The Presidential Affairs Committee Chairperson Jessica Ababiku cautioned all stakeholders against handling the matter with sentiments, saying that what was important is to find a solution for the better governance of the Capital City.