Yesterday, the outgoing Executive director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Jennifer Musisi, handed over office to the Kampala minister, Beti Kamya at City Hall. This was after a Wednesday farewell party for Musisi, who resigned as KCCA executive director in October.
During the party at Lugogo Indoor stadium in Kampala, Musisi, outlined the challenges and the battles she has fought since 2011. The public is now awaiting her successor who, according to Kamya, will be announced soon. Sources at the Kampala ministry, say the process of getting Musisi’s replacement started immediately after she announced her resignation in October.
Those lined up are said to include Kiwanuka Kiryowa, the National Resistance Movement party lawyer, Eng Andrew Kitaka, KCCA’s director for engineering and technical services, Prof. Anthony Mbonye, the former director general of health services, Patrick Mukiibi, the commissioner Tax Investigation at Uganda Revenue Authority and Henry Mayega, Uganda’s deputy ambassador to China.
Yusuf Nsibambi, the chairperson Kampala District Land Board, told Saturday Vision that the new city director should expect to fight with some top government officials over several interests. He described them as ‘mafias’.
“He will face the same challenges Musisi has faced. The mafia group running the City Hall will not allow the new executive director to award contracts to different firms. He will either dance to their tunes or lose the job. Those who have refused had to resign,” Nsibambi said.
But the Government deputy spokesperson, Col Shaban Bantariza, dismissed Nsibambi’s claims. “Those are non-constructive debates. First of all, who are the mafias Nsibambi is talking about? I don’t think all is well in the Forum For Democratic Change (FDC) party. Are there no mafias running that party?” Bantariza asked.
The deputy mayor, Central division, Sam Gombya, said the new KCCA boss must work on the relationship with the political leadership in the Authority.
“Musisi failed in that area. That’s why KCCA was facing challenges in collecting the local revenue because the technical wing did not involve us in its programmes. Therefore, to be successful, the new director has to work with us because we interface with people,” Gombya said.
The relationship between the division mayors, councillors and Musisi has not been good. Political leaders have been accusing the technical wing of usurping their powers. When Musisi assumed office in 2011, she centralised KCCA bank accounts, closing the accounts for all the five divisions.
This, according to Joyce Ssebugwawo, the Rubaga division mayor, crippled activities at the divisions.
“Even if I want to buy mineral water for my visitors, I have to write to City Hall, to get money. This is unfair,” Ssebugwawo said. Gombya said the incoming person will have to devolve some powers at the division level.
The public is eagerly waiting to see how the new KCCA boss will relate with the Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago. Lukwago has been engaged in court and political battles with Musisi, claiming that she usurped his powers.
In 2013, the former NRM party councillors joined the fight and impeached Lukwago, creating a political impasse for two years at City Hall. When he was again voted into office in 2016, Lukwago started, where he had stopped, demanding several things. This time, Lukwago came with political might because the majority councillors belong to FDC, a political party he associates Kiwanuka Mbonye Mayega Kitaka with, though he belongs to the Democratic Party.
Lukwago is claiming his unpaid salary, saying he was illegally impeached. Musisi has left office before sanctioning Lukwago to be paid. Efforts to get Lukwago were futile as he is reported to be in France. But a city legislator, who is close to Lukwago, told Saturday Vision that if Musisi’s successor wants co-operation with Lukwago at City Hall, he may have to pay his arrears. Bruhan Byaruhanga, an NRM councillor, doubted whether paying Lukwago’s arrears will endear anybody to Lukwago.
“To Lukwago, everyone at City Hall is bad. Just look through his history with the ministers who have served in Kampala,” Byaruhanga, who led the petition impeaching Lukwago, said.
Nsibambi, however, advised that to have good cordial relationship, the new KCCA technical head should accept to be subordinate to the elected leaders.
“KCCA civil servants are not answerable to President Yoweri Museveni, but to the Lord Mayor and his councillors, who were elected by the people,” he added.