Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA executive committee chaired by the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago was no show at Thursday’s council sitting demanding that councilors be inducted on the KCCA Amendment Act of 2020.
On Monday, the office of the KCCA speaker issued a notice summoning council to discuss a number of issues including the historical buildings and sites ordinance and stimulus package for city traders.
A day later, the KCCA deputy Lord Mayor and leader of council business, Doreen Nyanjura wrote back asking the speaker to stay the council meeting until members are inducted.
She noted that both the speaker and his deputy absconded from an induction meeting organized by the executive committee without any explanation despite being invited. The induction meeting was attended by members of the executive committee, executive director, her deputy and all directors.
The induction was aimed at streamlining the operations of the authority in line with the KCCA Amendment Act (2020), according to Nyanjura. “The city executive’s position therefore is that the above council meeting be stayed until after the induction processes are exhausted, the clerk to the authority has been accordingly instructed to organize the next induction session scheduled for next week where all council members shall be inducted,” read Nyanjura’s letter.
However, the KCCA deputy speaker Byaruhanga dismissed Nyanjura’s claims and pointed her to section 8C of the KCCA Act where the council derives its business. “I am dismayed by the incompetence that is being exhibited by the executive committee especially in assigning itself roles that are not in their mandate. The executive should desist from usurping the mandate of the council as enshrined in the law,” reads Byaruhanga’s letter.
He argued that Nyanjura’s claim “has no legal, administrative or moral basis”. Byaruhanga contends that the office of the Minister for Kampala already inducted members in a training that happened in February 2020. This morning, Byaruhanga asked the council members not to discuss Nyanjura’s letter saying it was written out of ignorance and shouldn’t take their time.
According to the KCCA Amendment Act 2020, which introduced the office of the speaker and the city executive committee, the office of the speaker presides over the house and operates as a parliament while the executive committee that has the monitory role over the authority reports to council. Members of the committee serve as ministers. Section 8C of the Act provides for functions of the speaker which includes presiding over council meetings.
The five members of the executive committee are not the only ones that skipped the meeting. Only 11 out of the 32 councilors showed up. The meeting was meant to start at 10 am but by 11 am, there was no quorum. At least 16 councilors are required for council to conduct business.
According to the rules of procedure, if there is no quorum, after 30 minutes of the scheduled meeting time, the speaker adjourns the proceedings for 15 minutes during which a bell is rang. Upon expiry of the extra time, if there still is no quorum, the speaker is mandated to adjourn or suspend the proceedings without question.
The procedure was followed up to the end. Kawalya however asked the members present to deliberate on the closure of the meeting, to schedule the next meeting or suspend the current one and the office of the speaker investigate why members didn’t show up.
In his submission, the Rubaga South councilor Ismail Ddamba said they should schedule the meeting for another day next week. He said several of their colleagues were engaging in political activities ahead of the 2021 elections at the expense of their mandate at KCCA.
Zamini Masunge, the Kawempe Woman Councilor called for another meeting. She described the decision of the Executive committee and councilors to skip the meeting as betrayal of people’s trust.
Nakawa 2 councilor, Moses Okwera also condemned the action of his colleagues, saying it indicates lack of seriousness.
This is the second time a council meeting has flopped due to lack of quorum while Byaruhaga is in charge, an action some say is a vote of no confidence. The July 30th, 2020 council he was meant to chair also flopped due to lack of quorum. The council resolved to have the next meeting on August 19th, 2020.