Uganda: Pressure Mounts On KCCA Acting ED Kitaka to Vacate Office

25 November 2019

Seven people identifying themselves as 'taxpayers and concerned citizens' have written to the acting executive director, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Andrew Kitaka to vacate office citing the expiry of his acting tenure.

Dan Lubowa Sserunjogi, Angel Lubowa, Richard Kiiza, Hakim Ssemakula, Asadu Lutale, Clarence Hafashimana and Vincent Ssenono through their lawyers of Kirya and Company Advocates contend when the former KCCA executive director, Jennifer Musisi Ssemakula resigned on December 15, 2018, Kampala Affairs minister Beti Kamya assigned Kitaka the duties of executive director in 'acting' capacity pending appointment of a substantive executive director.

In their November 21, 2019 notice, the applicants say Kitaka has continued to execute the duties of executive director for the past eleven months in acting capacity contrary to Public Service Standing Orders, which provides for only six months.

It provides that "An appointment on acting basis is expected to last not more than six months, and is subject to direction by the appointing authority. Any period of acting appointment beyond six months will be null and void and the officer holding such an appointment shall automatically revert to his or her substantive post, unless the appointing authority extends the appointment for another period of six months, but shall not exceed 12 months in total. This arrangement will only apply when a statutory office is temporarily vacated."

They also cite Section 17 of the KCCA Act of 2010, which provides for the appointment of the executive director and mandate, which includes execution of duties of the authority and at the same time being the accounting officer. They contend that the responsibilities are enormous, arguing that one is likely to cause loss to the authority as well as the taxpayers once they execute the roles in an acting capacity.

"We further notify you that acting appointments as done in public service do not apply indefinitely and any such act is illegal and unlawful," reads the notice in part.

They are now demanding that Kitaka ceases from committing or executing work on behalf of the authority and hand over office to any senior ranking officer with a substantive contract to avoid any audit and legal queries,

"Provide an inventory of all contracts, expenditures and any related activities done in your 'acting' capacity", the notice reads.

The petitioners have given Kitaka five working days to refund all the money he has received as salary or emoluments for the period he has served beyond the mandatory six months for one to be working in 'acting' position or else they institute a civil suit against him.

Last week, KCCA councillors chased Kitaka from a council meeting. They cited a letter written by the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Justice Ralph Ochan reminding minister Kamya that Kitaka's tenure in 'acting' capacity had ended and it would most likely be challenged in court.

The development comes barely a week after the deputy head of the High court civil division, Justice Henrietta Wolayo ordered the police director in charge of engineering and logistics, Godfrey Bangirana to vacate office due to lack of a valid contract with the government.

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