19 October 2018

Uganda: It's Normal to Resign - Musisi

Kampala — The outgoing executive director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Ms Jennifer Musisi, has spoken out on her resignation, saying the institution will continue despite her exit.

Ms Musisi, who has been at the helm of KCCA for seven years, on Monday wrote to President Museveni announcing her resignation which she said will take effect on December 15.

"It is a normal thing for people to resign; it is not abnormal for all sorts of reasons, so this should not be a surprise to anybody. There are some countries where people resign every week," Ms Musisi said.

She was speaking to journalists yesterday at the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding between KCCA and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Normal operations

Ms Musisi said her resignation will not affect KCCA operations, adding that she has built the authority on a strong foundation with 10 directorates.

"...That is why you are seeing things that you see, not just in infrastructure which is visible, but also in health, education, systems, data centre, traffic control centre and all those are the strong foundations we have laid to manage different aspect of KCCA for service delivery in Kampala," she added.

"All the systems and partnerships we have signed with different development agencies remain. We have built the most professional and effective human resources, in all our different directorates. So with proper coordination and support, KCCA is here to stay for a very long time. People come and go but institutions, if they are built on strong foundations, stay for a very long time," Ms Musisi said.

In her resignation letter, she listed a number of achievements under her reign.

She said between 2011 and 2018, revenue collections have grown by 198 per cent from Shs30 billion in 2011-2012 to Shs89.4 billion in 2016-2017, despite the drop to 165 per cent in 2017-2018.

However, she also cited lack of political support, lack of permanent contracts for her staff and interference with her duties as some of the major challenges she faced during her reign.

At the signing ceremony yesterday, KCCA and WFP said the partnership will tackle food shortage and rising levels of malnutrition in Kampala.

Ms Musisi said both parties have already started undertaking a comprehensive survey through Makerere University School of Public Health to investigate the nature and magnitude of the two challenges.

"Many people are arriving in the city to look for work and finding themselves squeezed into settlements where basic social services are limited, sanitation is poor and, as result, their children are prone to infections and ill health. Moreover, these same households can hardly afford regular healthy diets," Ms Musisi said.

The study will investigate how poverty and rapid urbanisation are impacting food security and malnutrition among the poor and also look into why better-off households in Kampala are increasingly faced with obesity or over-nutrition.

"This is exactly what we were looking for: scientific evidence that can guide our assistance to vulnerable households and our overall city strategic plan. We approached WFP, aware of its expertise in conducting comprehensive food security surveys in cities around the world, and most recently in Kinshasa in the DR Congo and Manila in the Philippines," she added.

The WFP country director, El Khidir Daloum, said the new partnership will assist Uganda in working to achieve key sustainable development goals.

"Kampala city generates 60 percent of Uganda's Gross Domestic Product," said Daloum, as he spoke of the importance of the partnership to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger.

"As we assist Uganda to achieve sustainable development, we know we must actively engage beyond Uganda's traditional hunger hotspots," he added.

The National Demographic and Health Survey 2016 found that rates of chronic malnutrition or stunted growth among children aged under five in Kampala district rose from 13.5 per cent in 2011 to 18 per cent in 2016.

The National Zero Hunger Strategic Review 2017 also found evidence of food insecurity and rising levels of malnutrition in the city. It noted that 21 percent of Ugandans lived in urban areas in 2014, up from 12 percent in 2002.


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