Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has said he has to block implementation of the new KCCA Amendment Act, 2019 until Parliament pronounces itself on the contradictions in the new law.t
The Lord Mayor said he had petitioned Parliament and activities geared towards the implementation of the Law had been halted.
“Within my powers as Lord Mayor, I have called off all activities geared towards the implementation of this law with immediate effect,” Mr. Lukwago told journalists at his office.
In a letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Lukwago highlights the contradictions in the law as he asked Parliament to halt the implementation of the Law and expedite the investigation process.
Last week, Mukono Municipality MP and Shadow minister for Kampala Betty Nambooze, raised the same discrepancies in the law on the floor of Parliament. “The Speaker indicated that they are going to carry out an investigation of the same [contradictions in the law] establishing whether indeed the issues being raised by Hon Nambooze are correct. We expected the decision to be made in the course of last week; unfortunately, no position was taken by Parliament,” Mr. Lukwago said.
The President assented to the KCCA Amendment Act, 2019 on November 28, 2019, about six years since its enactment.
Among the irregularities raised in the amended Act is the making and presenting of the KCCA budget. Section 4 of the Amendment Act vests the power to create and present the budget to the council in the office of the executive director while section 14B vests the same powers in executive committee chaired by the Lord Mayor.
“Those are the core functions of the Lord Mayor. Preparation of the budget is a core function of the office of the Lord Mayor in the legal regime,” Mr. Lukwago said.
Mr. Lukwago remarked that the amended KCCA Act is giving power by one hand and taking it away with another which he said is dangerous and is bound to cause confusion and a clash within the Constitution adding that Section 16 of the amended Act gives the Minister of Kampala powers to coordinate planning activities within the metropolitan area, which he says was never passed by Parliament.
However, the KCCA spokesperson Peter Kaujju declined to comment on the matter.“I am not privy to that information,” Mr. Kaujju said.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago told journalists that he also wrote to the Ministry of Works and Transport to address the issue concerning the 980 buses expected to be brought into the city.
Mr. Lukwago accused the ministry of jumping the gun and rushing to bring in buses without proper planning and wondered if any lesson had been picked from the previously failed ventures.
“You have parked more than 200 buses in Namboole [belonging to Pioneer Bus Company]. Now you are bringing 980……why to bring new ones while others are rotting here? You have not sorted out the problem,” he added.
Ms. Susan Kataike, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Works was also asked whether the ministry informed the Lord Mayor about the project, she said: “When the minister (Works) is writing, he will write to his fellow minister (KCCA). We deal with technical people, not politicians.” adding that sensitization of all stakeholders is ongoing.