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Protests as Lukwago, city executive committee skip KCCA council sitting

KCCA Speaker Zahrah Luyirika. URN photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The city executive committee headed by Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago skipped a council sitting at City Hall, sparking dissent amongst councilors.

Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Speaker Zahrah Luyirika called for a council sitting yesterday for city executive committee to update the house on the reopening of the Old Taxi Park, repossession of government markets and the appointment of the City Public Accounts Committee among other issues.

The 2010 KCCA Act, as amended mandates the committee to ensure the implementation of council programs and decisions and monitor sector performance. The committee hence gets answers from the technical leadership and reports to the council.

Although the meeting was scheduled to start in the morning, the venue remained abandoned with only a public address system, but with unarranged plastic chairs within the tent. When the speaker eventually showed up, she was not led by the sergeant-at-arms, who usually clears the way with the mace.

The speaker told councilors that the technical team had told staff that there was no sitting and as such, they couldn’t carry the mace which is the symbol of authority, bring her official seat, write minutes or provide a sound system.

The speaker told the house that the Deputy Lord Mayor Doreen Nyanjura had written to her on Monday saying that the meeting had been rescheduled until after councilors have been inducted. The induction had been planned for June but was affected by the 42 days lockdown, and has since been planned for September.

However, the speaker wrote back on Tuesday reiterating her earlier notice inviting her for the meeting saying that she saw no reason why the council can’t sit as they wait for induction. She added that Nyanjura had no powers to reschedule a council sitting.

Yesterday, the speaker received another letter from the office of the Deputy Executive Director, Eng. David Luyimbazi asking that the meeting be postponed until after induction.

“It is important to note that a big number of the elected political leaders for the term of office 2021-2026 are new in office and therefore need to be inducted on their respective roles and responsibilities, policies, operations and procedures of council and KCCA,” Luyimbazi noted in the letter written.

Mosh Sendi, the councillor representing Makindye East III called this an act of impunity by the CEC and the technical team and expressed dismay at their lack of appreciation for the urgency of the matter. Sendi thinks this is a deliberate move to undermine the council and deny service to the public.

Lubaga South Woman Councilor Faridah Nakabugo says the officials absence is a political move intended to frustrate the National Unity Platform-NUP dominated council and portray the new party as a non-performing. Out of 52 members of the council, 41 subscribe to NUP.

Angel Kwagala, the Woman Councilor for Kawempe South holds similar sentiments. She wants NUP councilors to report the matter to their Party President Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu for guidance.

Nakawa A Councilor Faizol Nkugwa also says the issue of induction is a mere excuse for the CEC to undermine the powers of the Speaker. He wonders why the induction matter wasn’t raised at a time when CEC wanted the council to pass a recent budget of shillings four billion. He accused the committee of using the council for hidden interests.

Meanwhile, the Speaker Zahrah Luyirika has reassured councilors that she won’t bow to those who want to undermine the council. In a raised voice, Luyirika said she won’t let herself and the council be taken for a ride.

In the informal meeting, councilors agreed that the Speaker writes to the technical leadership of KCCA and the CEC expressing her discontent with their behaviour and demand for an explanation.

The Lord Mayor and other City Executive Committee were not reached for comment.

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URN

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