City Lord Mayor Erias lukwago is likely to return to a more ceremonial office in his next term as the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party caucus sitting at State House Entebbe built consensus on proposed changes to the KCCA Act that guides the operations at City Hall, the seat of Kampala Capital City Authority.
President Yoweri Museveni on Monday afternoon summoned friendly members of the ruling party parliamentary caucus to find a common stand on the matter after the committee on presidential affairs threw out the proposal to make the position of the lord mayor a non elective, in what would strip city dwellers of rights to elect their leaders.
The amendments seek to also introduce the position of an authority speaker in what will strip the lord mayor of powers to chair business of the authority
Government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa speaking to the Nile Post from Parliament revealed that they had built consensus on all the issues except what powers to allocate the lord mayor and the minister.
While the current law recognizes the city lord mayor as the political head of the authority, the government is bent on subjecting the lord mayor to the authority of the central government
Nankabirwa says more consultation is being carried out within the government circles to try to figure out what powers would be given to the city’s next lord mayor
Makindye East law maker Ibrahim Kasozi who sits on the presidential affairs committee that digested the bill in its raw form says the committee failed to make a decision on the critical factor of who will head the authority and the matter was left for the bigger house to deal with.
He mentions that while in normal circumstances where the central government takes over power is with the minister , the Ugandan constitution places power in the hands of the people and the fact that the lord mayor is elected means he exercises the power on behalf of the people
Nankabirwa says she was tasked to ask the speaker to postpone debate on the matter or skip the part that allocates powers but the speaker decided that the debate should start and that part can be skipped in the meantime
Rubaga South law maker Kato Lubwama says he is outrightly opposed to any idea that intends to take away power from the people and will oppose it when it comes up for debate
He says as people from the central region, the city lord mayor is all they have and they will not surrender it to any control other than the power of the ballot
Lubmwama’s view is also backed by Manjiya’s John Baptist Nambeshe, the outspoken NRM MP who even when he was not invited to the caucus meeting vowed to oppose any move to strip the locals of their powers to elect their own leaders in the city.