Parliament summons KCCA leadership over Advertising Ordinance failure

Parliament summons KCCA leadership over Advertising Ordinance failure
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The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises (COSASE) has summoned the top political leadership of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), including Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago.

They are required to provide explanations regarding the failure to operationalize the 2019 Outdoor Advertising Ordinance, which would mandate KCCA to collect revenue from billboards around the city.

Medard Lubega, Chairperson of COSASE, questioned the responsibility of KCCA in passing ordinances and whether it falls within the scope of audit queries.

He emphasized the recurrence of such issues and highlighted a court ruling that resulted in financial losses for the authority.

"How will you explain it? For that reason, the standard practice will be, when you come here, to account, we want your political leadership. I will not be prejudiced by what I hear and know regarding the politics at KCCA, but here everybody must come and carry their cross," he stated.

Dorothy Kisaka, Executive Director of KCCA, clarified the protocol for invitations to Parliament meetings, stating that it is not her responsibility to invite Lukwago and his council.

She explained the customary practice of separate invitations for the technical and political wings of KCCA, expressing willingness to comply if a specific invitation is extended to the political leadership.

This summons came after the political leadership of KCCA failed to attend a meeting called by COSASE to address several audit queries raised in the December 2023 Audit report, particularly regarding the advertising ordinance aimed at revenue collection from outdoor advertising.

The National Outdoor Advertising & Contractors Association Limited filed a lawsuit against KCCA, contesting the authority's decision to impose advertising rates on their business.

They characterized the practice as illegal, irrational, and unlawful. Additionally, they sought a court order to compel KCCA to refund Shs13.226 billion collected from advertisers since 2011.

The court ruled in favour of the advertisers, and in December 2020, Shs8.228 billion was formally approved as decretal, with Shs2.653 billion allocated for taxed costs and interest, totalling Shs10.882 billion.

Since April 2020, KCCA has ceased revenue collection from advertisers in the city.

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