Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago has warned President Museveni against disrespecting him in the new term of office as the political head of Kampala.
Lukwago was on Wednesday afternoon sworn in for a third term at a function held at the City Hall, the Kampala Capital City Authority headquarters.
Giving his inaugural speech, Lukwago said he expects interference from the president just like it has been in the last two terms but warned that he deserves respect as an elected leader.
“I hope this term will not call for wrath from powers that be to frustrate our efforts. My appeal to Gen Yoweri Museveni is to respect the will of the people of Kampala who elected me,”Lukwago said.
“The Lord Mayor doesn’t subscribe to the NRM and will never do that. I was elected by the people of Kampala but there is a high propensity of the central government trying to interfere in our work but I ask that we are respected.”
In the past two terms, Lukwago and President Museveni have not been on good terms in regards the running of affairs of the city.
The 51 year old lawyer who was first elected as Kampala Lord Mayor in 2011 has had a troubled time, especially during his first term in office when in November 2013 he was voted out of office by councilors after a tribunal found him guilty of incompetence and abuse of office.
He stayed out of office for over three years until 2016.
Lukwago has since blamed all his woes on President Museveni whom he accuses of trying to “usurp the will of the people of Kampala.”
On the other hand, the president has also blamed Lukwago of always playing “unnecessary” politics in running the affairs of the city and sabotaging development.
Speaking on Wednesday, Lukwago asked the central government headed by President Museveni to support KCCA in all ways other than sabotaging them.
“Give us what is required to transform Kampala including adequate funding. I condemn all forms of injustices and bad governance. It is the reason I was overwhelmingly elected by the people of Kampala. I will continue championing the rule of law,” he said.
Lukwago said he will never relent on being the shield of the people of Kampala by fighting for their rights and wellbeing.
In his line with his mandate as the political head of the city, Lukwago has on several occasions collided with the technical wing at KCCA.
These squabbles became more pronounced during his first time and the second term before the resignation of Jeniffer Musisi as KCCA Executive Director.
Speaking on Wednesday after taking oath to begin another term in office, Lukwago said he believes he has performed extremely well in regards giving political guidance to the city, a role he said he will continue offering.
“I speak with confidence as majority of the people have lived to witness this. My core function as Lord Mayor is offering political guidance and to this, even my nemesis will agree with me that I have not been found wanting on this front. I will continue to stand out guiding the city politically.”
He mentioned construction of more markets to cater for especially street vendors who he said are being pushed off the streets but have nowhere to go, adding that before constructing markets in upcountry cities and towns, Kampala should be the first priority.
“Markets in the city are in a sorry state. We have not developed them to required standards. What is the essence of constructing markets all over the country when many people in Kampala are still being hounded! We must have trade order in the city and this can’t happen unless you create a safe haven for these people(on the streets).
Lukwago also mentioned efforts to ensure the city’s greenbelt is restored and infrastructural development among other key issues in this new term.
He however asked government to increase the KCCA budget which was a few years ago slashed from over shs500billion to over shs300billion per year, saying it is not enough.