Why Lukwago Feels Kamya has “Captured” Division Mayors

1372 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
In the theatre of Kampala politics, through cajoling, dishing out cash, deceit and nuanced anti-Lukwago directives to KCCA technocrats, Kamya has announced her vivacious arrival. And Lukwago is feeling it. She plays the political melody and, to the bemusement and dismay of Lukwago, politicians and technocrats dance to it.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago says he has been abandoned by division mayors.

Lukwago says mayors have aligned themselves with his former ally in the opposition - now turned political nemesis - Kampala Minister, Beti Kamya.
 
In the theatre of Kampala politics, through cajoling, dishing out cash, deceit and nuanced anti-Lukwago directives to KCCA technocrats, Kamya has announced her vivacious arrival. And Lukwago is feeling it. She plays the political melody and, to the bemusement and dismay of Lukwago, politicians and technocrats dance to it.
 
Kamya may dream that she has achieved her political motives, but Lukwago says "lutandika butandisi" simply meaning the "it has just started."
 
"She (Kamya) will see it. Because I said this year, we will be fighting for our political authority. She may think that she has achieved much by capturing mayors and technocrats and confusing them. She is just joking. The battle for Kampala leadership authority has not ended. It has started," Lukwago said Monday after suspending council meetings indefinitely.
 
Lukwago says Kampala division mayors have been duped by Minister Kamya that they will be given power if they dance to her political melodies. Division mayors have been fighting to get independent budget votes instead of being folded under KCCA.
 
Establishing budget votes for divisions would effect Section 31(1) of KCCA Act 2010 which states that; "The division town clerk shall be the head of the public officers of the division council and shall be the accounting officer of the division urban council." Section 31(2,d) of the same Act states that "the division town clerk shall be responsible for presenting the annual budget to the division urban council."
 
Lukwago says the mayors went to parliament to support KCCA amendment bill that will wrestle political power from him if passed. He says he has been pulling mayors to his side, same way as Kamya who was pulling them to her side. Finally, Lukwago says, he let mayors go.
 
//Cue in: "Bulijo olukwe olubaluka…
Cue out:…bagenda kubawa obuyinza."//
 
Under Kamya's feet, Lukwago argues that mayors have now started summoning council meetings corresponding to the minister's wishes. This, according to Lukwago, is buttressed by the fact that Kamya issued a letter on January 25 saying she would be visiting divisions to discuss waste management in the city. The mayors called councils on the days she gave them. These councils were attended by the minister.
 
The Lord Mayor says that the council meeting convened on Kamya's wishes confirmed that the minster has completed the coup of "capturing divisions."
 
//Cue in: "Omukyala Beti Kamya…
Cue out:…meetings enaaku ezo."//

Response
 
"Not so," Charles Sserunjogi, the Kampala Central Division Mayor says. "We have not aligned ourselves with the minister." He opines that to deliver services, mayors have no option other than working with Lukwago, Kamya, KCCA technocrats as well as central government.
 
With no power, Sserunjogi admits that division mayors are lobbying anyone in a bid to be empowered. In parliament, he says, when they were invited for discussion on amendment of the KCCA Act, they merely expressed their wishes. "Does that mean we aligned ourselves with parliament?" Sserunjogi inquires.
 
He says leaders must appreciate and accept to work and complement each other rather than pulling ropes. Working together, Sserunjogi says, is what division leaders are doing.

//Cue in: "First and fore…
Cue out:…the law requires."//

Cue in: "But we as…
Cue out:…divisions are doing."//

Sserunjogi says mayors occupy offices that are supposed to deliver services such as collecting garbage, do silting, provide street lighting, and maintain markets among other services. "These are the services that people expect from us. How by any standards can we do this if we don't work with other leaders? That's impossible," he says.

Sserunjogi says the best strategy for mayors is to work with all leaders if they are to deliver services. Not working with Lukwago and Kamya only but also with KCCA technocrats, local council leaders, Kampala Resident City Commissioner and police.
 
//Cue in: "So for us…
Cue out:…people of Kampala."//
 
 

 

About the author

Blanshe Musinguzi
Musinguzi Blanshe is a politics-cum-business journalist. He joined Uganda Radio Network in February 2017. Previously, he worked at Daily Monitor and Red Pepper Publications Limited. He is keenly interested in data journalism.