Kampala Capital City Authority councillors yesterday evening endorsed Democratic Party’s (DP) Sulaiman Kidandala as deputy Lord Mayor. The development comes after the Lord Mayor, Mr Erias Lukwago, failed in the morning session to choose between his two nominees – Mr Kidandala , a councillor representing Kawempe Division and Mr Bernard Luyiga of Makerere University and opted to put the matter to vote. The two are DP leaning politicians.
Prior to the voting, drama ensued in the meeting hall when Mr Luyiga was tricked by his NRM counterparts to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with them in exchange for support.
When the meeting reconvened in the afternoon for voting, Mr Luyiga sat on the NRM side but was shocked to see majority endorsing his opponent to take up the third top post in the KCCA hierarchy.
NRM councillors, who constitute majority of the council, had earlier vowed not to endorse any of the two nominees, saying none of them belonged to their party. “By the virtue of the authority entrusted to me, I appoint Sulaiman Kidandala the deputy Lord Mayor of Kampala City,” Mr Lukwago told the meeting.
Mr Kidandala was seconded by Councillor Angela Kigonya [Rubaga Division]. Out of the 31 councillors, 20 belong to the NRM while 11 subscribe to the opposition and some are independent. The meeting, which began at 10am at City Hall, suspended other businesses to fill the position of deputy Lord Mayor which has been vacant for at least five months.
In his acceptance speech shortly after the meeting, Mr Kidandala pledged to work with Mr Lukwago and serve the people of Kampala to their expectations. “It is a great day for me and I thank the Authority for entrusting me with such responsibility. I am faced with several challenges but I will work hand in hand with him (Lukwago) to serve Kampala,” Mr Kidandala said. Section 9(3) of the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010 empowers the Lord Mayor to appoint his deputy from among the councillors.
Recently, the councillors grilled Mr Lukwago over his delay to appoint a deputy and steering committees, saying it had frustrated the Authority’s operations. Apart from appointing a deputy, the Lord Mayor is also expected to draft rules of procedure and thereafter spearhead the formation of committees that oversee the running of the authority.
Section 11(20) of the same Act empowers the deputy Lord Mayor to assist the Lord Mayor in the performance of his functions and otherwise deputise him in his absence.
While the new law governing Kampala gives the executive director more control over city affairs, the Lord Mayor and his deputy still have a big voice.
They are mandated to spearhead the formulation of laws, policies, and programmes and make sure that the technical team implements them. They also oversee their implementation. The duo also has a few other functions, which include presiding over the authority’s meetings, hosting foreign and local dignitaries and ceremonial functions.