The minister for the Presidency, who is also in charge of Kampala city affairs, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, today met the press to talk about efforts by his office to improve the working relationship between city Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Executive Director Jennifer Musisi.
We welcome Tumwebaze's intervention, if indeed it will help to get the technical and political leaders to work together. For a year and a half now, the country has watched the ping-pong between Musisi's technocrats and the Lukwago-led political leaders with bemusement and frustration.
One side was appointed by, and has the backing of President Museveni; the other was elected by the voters in the city of Kampala. Each side claims to be right and accuses the other of playing saboteur and breaking the law. Obviously this is not possible; both can't be true. What is true is that both Musisi and Lukwago have a duty to lead their teams in a way that will deliver a clean, organised and competitive city.
If both sides put the people and the city first, a lot of the fights would not arise. The city councillors have to realise that while the law that created Musisi is in place, and the appointing authority has not removed her, they have to work with the executive director and her technical team.
If working with Musisi will deliver services to their people, the councillors should put making that relationship work at the top of their agenda. Already they appear to be moving towards that, with recent decision to engage the minister concerned.
So, how will 'Madame' Musisi (as those appreciative of her efforts call her) react? The executive director may not be a politician, but the law requires that she works with the elected representatives of Kampala citizens. To do it differently would mean disenfranchising the people of the city, the symbolic heart of our democracy.
The NRM has desperately - sometimes fraudulently - tried but failed to capture Kampala's top political seat. The executive director should not accept to be used to deliver to NRM what it failed to get at the ballot box. Kampala needs Musisi and Lukwago to show each other more respect, and this city is bigger than both of them.