Kampala. The next Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) executive director will be either an engineer, a lawyer or tax expert, according to profiles of three individuals that the Executive is scrutinising for appointment.
Highly-placed sources say those on the list are engineer Andrew Kitaka, the current KCCA director for Engineering and Technical Services; Mr Henry Mayega, Uganda’s deputy ambassador to China; and, Mr Patrick Mukiibi, the commissioner for Tax Investigation at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
Multiple individuals knowledgeable about the process, but who spoke to this newspaper on condition of anonymity because the matter is confidential, said Kampala minister Beti Kamya is presently appraising the candidates.
The minister, according to the sources, will recommend two candidates and President Museveni will name one of them as Jennifer Musisi’s successor.
Ms Kamya did not receive or return our repeated telephone calls on the matter.
Outgoing KCCA executive director Musisi submitted her resignation to the President in October, and is due to leave City Hall this Friday after seven years at the helm. A farewell party is being organised for her on Wednesday.
Among reasons for her abrupt departure mid her third appointive tenure, Ms Musisi cited less-than-satisfactory political support, inadequate resources and corrosive fights.
After the NRM party was floored in the capital in 2016 elections, President Museveni reversed his adulation of the executive director as a trailblasing reformer and good-to-emulate cadre.
He undercut Ms Musisi by publicly denouncing her abrasive leadership style which, among other things, saw vendors kicked off the streets and boda boda riders placed on the tenterhooks over possible ban of their operations in the central business district, as responsible for the ruling party’s loss.
As the political schism deepened, the central government’s budget allocation to City Hall took a beating.
KCCA’s budget had increased five-fold under Ms Musisi, but that financing has, from Museveni’s 2016 rebuke, been on a downward spiral.
It dropped from near Shs500b to Shs461b and rather than double the allocation to Shs1 trillion as demanded by City Hall, the entity’s budget for next year will instead be chopped by Shs95b, according to indicative figures provided by Finance ministry.
Highly-placed government sources say that political considerations have gained currency in the ongoing suitability assessment of the three candidates.
The President is keen to have a doer who is also politically astute to superintend the capital. His calculation is to have electoral victory in the city almost under his wings ahead of the expected 2021 ballot.
Mr Museveni, sources familiar with the process said, has chaired half-a-dozen meetings with various city interest groups --- among them, vendors, commuter operators and his political mobilisers --- in the last couple of months since Ms Musisi announced her resignation in October.
On the agenda has been gauging the stakeholders’ views on the credentials of the right fit person to lead KCCA.
One consensus is to have as a replacement a person who, just like Ms Musisi, hails from central Uganda in order to keep open communication lines with the influential Buganda Kingdom, according to another high-level source.
Kampala city, even when geographically located in Buganda region, is under the Constitution not part of it, creating political and management headaches for the individual in-charge.
About the candidates
Mr Andrew Kitaka: An experienced hand at KCCA, he directly superintended modernisation of the city’s physical infrastructure, including upgrade of 210 kilometres of roads to bitumen and automating traffic control at 20 junctions, which headline Ms Musisi’s feats as executive director. He previously acted as deputy executive director when Dr Judith Tukahirwa resigned in October 2016, citing political interference. He is considered by insiders as the brain behind Kampala’s new look.
Mr Henry Mayega:
During his political baptism in 2010 as a newly-fished NRM cadre, having defected from UPC, Mr Mayega said he had crossed from a desert to a forest. President Museveni later named him Uganda’s deputy Ambassador to China. He brings political shrewdness that the appointing authority needs for a victorious comeback in the city at the 2021 elections. After his late brother, Peter Nyombi, served NRM diligently as Attorney General, insiders view Mr Mayega favourably as another loyal cadre.
Mr Patrick Mukiibi:
KCCA’s current biggest headache is mustering adequate resources to implement its activities. At Uganda Revenue Authority where he on occasion has acted as the commissioner general, Mr Mukiibi remains unblemished by any scandal and parachuting him to City Hall, the way Ms Musisi was, would help the executive start another relationship on a clean slate. He is well versed with principles of corporate governance, skills that the outgoing ED employed to turn the KCCA ship onto a transformation highway.