A cloud of euphoria hang over Kololo Independence Grounds last Thursday as the Electoral Commission (EC) announced winner of Kampala City’s Lord mayoral seat and councillors, ushering in a new political leadership for the capital.
At first, there was anxiety among candidates and their supporters on who would win the city’s elective positions following the emergence of National Unity Platform (NUP) on the country’s political scene.
For instance, of the nine slots for Kampala Members of Parliament, NUP won eight in the divisions of Rubaga North and South, Nakawa East and West, Makindye East and West and Kawempe North and South while Kampala Central Division was won by an independent candidate.
Although NUP had anticipated to grab the city’s highest political office, they lost to the incumbent Lord Mayor, Mr Erias Lukwago (FDC), who trounced their candidate Ms Nabilah Naggayi Sempala and 10 others by a landslide.
By voting back Mr Lukwago, observers argue that Kampala voters looked beyond the NUP wave and believed in his charismatic and inclusive system of leadership which they argue has endeared him to the urban poor, who constitute the city’s population.
He polled 194,592 votes against Ms Sempala’s 60,082 while NRM’s Mr Daniel Kazibwe, alias Ragga Dee, came third with 23,388.
However, out of the 46 seats for directly elected city councillors, NUP won 43 while FDC won a paltry three from Makerere University (both male and female) and Nakawa A constituencies. The NRM and other parties got none.
Mr Lukwago told journalists shortly after being declared winner that he would work with councillors from NUP since he and NUP have a common agenda as the Opposition.
There are still eight pending electoral posts for Special Interest Groups (SIGs), which upon election, will take the total number of councillors at KCCA to 52. These include People with Disabilities, Workers’ representatives, Youth and Elderly who all have two posts each.
Whereas professional bodies (lawyers, engineers, doctors and architects) had representatives in the KCCA council, the 2019 KCCA Amendment Act scrapped those positions.
The previous KCCA council had 37 councillors. Of these, FDC had the majority with 18 while NRM had 11, DP two, Independents two and professional bodies four.
However, the EC created new constituencies in the city before the 2021 election hence the increase in the number of councillors at City Hall.
Only three councillors from the previous council retained their seats.
These are Ms Doreen Nyanjura (FDC) from Makerere University, Ms Faridah Nakabugo (NUP) formerly FDC from Rubaga South, Mr Moses Katabu (NUP) formerly DP and Ms Olive Namazzi (FDC) from Nakawa A, but formerly from Kyambogo University.
With the 2019 KCCA Amendment Act, there was adjustment in the roles of both the technical team and the political wing at City Hall.
According to the Act, the Lord Mayor is the political head of the city while KCCA executive director is the head of the technocrats.
Before the law was amended, the Lord Mayor used to be the speaker of KCCA Council meetings and both the councillors and the technocrats, including directors attended council meetings. However, this time Mr Lukwago will not attend the Council meetings.
However, the new law created the office of speaker and deputy speaker, who are elected from among councillors by secret ballot.
Therefore, there is a likelihood of both positions will be elected from NUP since it has the majority.
According to Section 8 (c) of the Amended Act, the KCCA speaker shall preside over all meetings of council and perform functions which are similar to those of the Speaker of Parliament.
The speaker is also charged with the overall authority for preservation of order in council and ensuring enforcement of rules of procedures of council.
The speaker will also preside over sittings of the business committee. The business committee is supposed to generate business for the council and arrange business of each meeting and the order in which it has to be taken.
Apart from the speaker, other members of business committee include the deputy speaker, vice chairperson of the executive and the chairpersons of the KCCA standing committees.
The same law also created the executive which is headed by the Lord Mayor under. The executive is supposed to perform executive functions of council.
The executive consists of the Lord Mayor as the chairperson, the deputy Lord mayor and other three members. The executive members (ministers) are appointed by Lord Mayor from among the members of council.