Lukwago vows to opposes KCCA Bill Amendment Bill (2015)
Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has called for a referendum by the people of Kampala to decide on how the city’s top official should be voted.
On Wednesday, government re-introduced the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) amendment bill 2015 which provides that voters in Kampala will only elect councilors, who will in turn elect a Lord Mayor from among themselves.
Lukwago has vowed to fight the bill that is in parliament, saying that it’s a selfish political plan by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government which has unsuccessfully failed to defeat the opposition in Kampala.
“This government lost grip on Kampala, they cannot go into an electoral process again with some of us. Now, they are trying to do away with adult suffrage as far as election of the lord mayor is concerned,” said Lukwago.
Lukwago who Thursday addressed journalists at City Hall, warned that the Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura should prepare for a “battle” as he launches a new campaign to defend the elective position of the Lord Mayor.
“We are going to fight this bill legally and politically. We are going to be tenacious and aggressive in the fight against this obnoxious law. We shall use the 49 days to effectively mobilize the people of Kampala to reject this bill,” said Lukwago.
The bill with the proposed amendments to the 2010 Kampala Capital City Authority Act, was re-tabled by the state minister for Kampala Beni Namugwanya Bugembe this week after it was shelved for two years.
The Bill states that the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor shall be elected by at least two-thirds of all members of the Council and that the election shall be presided over by the Electoral Commission.
The government has argued that there are defects in the current law where by the powers to convene and preside over the meetings of the KCCA were vested only in the Lord Mayor, in whose absence, the activities of the Capital City cannot be implemented.
Upon receiving the bill, the Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga tasked the Presidential Affairs Committee of Parliament to handle the bill and report back in 49 days.
The bill also adds that, ‘A person is not qualified to be elected as Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor or a member of the Council unless he or she is qualified to be elected a Member of Parliament.’
According to ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze, the then Minister for the Presidency and Kampala, the existing law has several defects, among them, the continued administration of the city under a decentralized system yet it was given a ‘special status’ as a City Authority. He argued that this was the main cause of “contradictions and clash of roles.”
Lukwago refuses to swear in councilors
The Lord Mayor has meanwhile refused to swear in new councilors to represent the elderly at KCCA on ground that they are not catered for under the KCCA act
Lukwago said that he had received letters from the Minister in charge of Kampala and the KCCA executive director asking him to swear in the said councilors
He says that under the current KCCA act, there is no provision for the councilors representing the elderly. He says that a KCCA council session called on the 17th of this month will take the final position
“They are now trying to use back doors to increase on their numbers by bringing in councilors who are alien to the law. The KCCA act is very clear on the composition of councilors,” said Lukwago.