City Hall stalemate: Lukwago runs to Parliament

Thursday November 21 2019

Mr Andrew Kitaka

Mr Andrew Kitaka 

By AMOS NGWOMOYA & JAMES KABENGWA

KAMPALA-Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and city councillors yesterday resolved to petition the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, over the ongoing stalemate between the Council and the technical team at City Hall.

Mr Lukwago said it was wrong for Kampala Minister Beti Kamya to direct the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) acting executive director, Mr Andrew Kitaka, to present Kampala’s budget for 2019/2020 to the Ministry of Finance without Council’s consent.

Mr Lukwago further argued that the minister’s directive undermines Section 29 of the KCCA Act which mandates authority meeting to pass the budget.

“We are elected leaders and we are supposed to work for the people who elected us into office. But it seems like the minister is on a mission to whittle down our effort to serve the people of Kampala because she has since created a big crisis at City Hall. We have resolved to write to the Speaker to explain to her the current situation at KCCA so that she can intervene,” Mr Lukwago said.

For instance, Mr Lukwago argued that Mr Kitaka rushed to present the budget to the Ministry of Finance yet there are glaring irregularities which ought to be addressed.

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“We are currently grappling with funding deficits but when you look at the budget which they presented, the office of the Public Relations has been allocated a whopping Shs45b. What is all this money for yet we don’t even have enough garbage trucks?” he asked.

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The resolution to petition the Speaker was suggested by the Kyambogo University councillor, Ms Olive Namazzi, and later adopted by the Council meeting. She noted that if they informed the Speaker, perhaps she could intervene before the budget is finally passed by Parliament.

Last week, Mr Lukwago adjourned Council meeting to yesterday to discuss Kampala’s budget.

Although the technical team was also supposed to attend yesterday’s meeting, Mr Kitaka wrote to Mr Lukwago, saying he and the technical team would not be able to attend the meeting because ‘it was called on short notice’.

“…management has not received guidance from the Minister for Kampala that you requested relating to the issue of whether the Authority has a duly appointed Executive Director,” Mr Kitaka’s letter dated November 20 reads in part.

Last week, councillors chased Mr Kitaka from the Council meeting on grounds that his tenure as acting executive director had expired.

They referred to a letter from the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Justice Ralph Ochan, who wrote to Ms Kamya warning that Mr Kitaka’s continued stay in office could be challenged in Court because his acting tenure had expired to which Ms Kamya acknowledged.

dmukhaye@ug.nationmedia.com

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