The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Museveni to Meet MPs On Musisi, Lukwago Row

Lawmakers on the Public Service and Local Government committee have resolved to meet President Museveni to resolve the ongoing feud between Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and the KCCA Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi.

According to MPs, who are currently handling a petition filed by Mukono municipality MP Betty Nambooze, the feud between the two officials has stalled development in Kampala city. The MPs want the president to intervene in the matter and provide a lasting solution to the problems affecting the city.

"Where these problems have reached, we have resolved that meeting the president will be a good idea," said Roland Mugume Kaginda (Rukungiri municipality).

The lawmakers' decision came after two separate meetings with Musisi and Lukwago failed to make any headway in resolving the wrangles at City hall. The two leaders are reported to have traded accusations instead of offering a solution.

When he appeared before the committee this week, Lukwago told MPs that "all is not well at City hall."

"I am fed up with the practice at City hall. This is non-partisan and there is no political colour involved. This pampering and praising is not going to help. Now that I have got the opportunity to be heard, I will die a happy man."

Lukwago asked the committee to probe the leadership structure of KCCA, recruitment exercise, management lapses and Musisi's failure to account for funds that the council approves to do certain work, which is yet to be done. Lukwago's complaints also appear in Nambooze's petition.

However, when Musisi appeared before the committee, she vehemently denied the claims. Musisi instead told MPs that in cases where money was approved and work is yet to be done, there was no provision--citing garbage collection, where trucks were not provided for.

Ever since Lukwago and Musisi started work at KCCA, there have been noticeable points of departure between the two leaders, which have forced MPs to intervene. Among the main points of dissent is the award of the Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) contract, fixing salaries for the two principals and KCCA staff, removal of street vendors from Kampala streets, and debate on who is subordinate to the other in the rebranded KCCA.

According to Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi, the main sticking point is the KCCA Act which is the genesis of the wrangles between Musisi and Lukwago. However, the committee chairperson, Florence Kintu (Kalungu Woman) asked Lukwago to drop his destructive politics of "walk-to-work" if both Parliament and Museveni were to find a lasting solution to the squabbles in KCCA.

However, Nambooze contested this move.

"Let's not be taken to be asking the Lord Mayor to drop his politics." she said.

Can Museveni save the situation?

According to Dr Amin Tamale Kiggundu, an expert in urban planning, the lawmakers are wasting time in meeting Museveni.

"I think the president cannot do much. He is happy when Lukwago is in a fix," Kiggundu said. "But, I also blame government because the KCCA Act is not a pro-people law. The Lord Mayor should be given more powers because he is elected by people. Weakening the Lord Mayor is not fair. The law needs to be revised.

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