Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago has slammed the Kampala Ministry for asking politicians to seek clearance from Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA before running their campaign drives and displaying campaign posters. Lukwago told journalists at City hall on Monday afternoon that KCCA has no legal mandate to do so and asked the Ministers to withdraw their directives.
Last week, the State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Benny Namugwanya said any politician intending to carry out a drive in the city needs clearance from KCCA, which shall guide them on the routes to take; time and level of sound to use on their public address system.
The Authority had earlier issued a public notice requiring politicians to seek permission to put up campaign posters based on the provisions of the National Physical Planning Standards and Guidelines 2011, which mandate the local authorities to grant permission to anyone who wants to conduct outdoor advertisement.
The authority warned those who would defy the law and place posters in impermissible areas like road junctions, pathways, security installations and traffic signage. However, Lukwago says KCCA has no mandate and should leave the work to the Electoral Commission which is in charge of electoral processes.
Lukwago says that KCCA would only have a say if it had an ordinance it is following. Unfortunately, the Outdoor advertising Ordinance is yet to be put in place. According to Lukwago, this is a political season and politicians should be left to put out their bids to the public in their electoral areas.
Harold Kaija, the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC candidate for the Kampala Central Member of Parliament, says it is unrealistic for KCCA to ask candidates to seek permission before setting up campaign posters or holding city drives. He says all KCCA need to do is popularize areas that are not permissible for people to pin posters.
He says if KCCA wanted to regulate the placement of photos efficiently, they should have sought mandate in the laws governing the Electoral process. Faridah Nakabugo, the National Unity Platform candidate for Lubaga South Woman Councilor’s seat, says the requirement by KCCA is only setting up candidates for exploitation by its officials.
She says there are no sufficient places owned by KCCA where candidates can place posters. KCCA says posters can be placed on the road reserve. Nakabugo says many of the posters are placed on private property with consent from the owners.
Information on the KCCA websites says that apart from road reserves, candidates can set up poster on private property with the owner’s consent. Nakabugo insists that politicians should be left to operate and government cleans the City thereafter.