Parliament passes KCCA bill giving Lukwago all powers

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Parliament has passed the Kampala Capital City Authority (Amendment) bill, 2015 into an Act of Parliament.

The House sat on Thursday and considered the Kampala Capital City Authority (Amendment) bill, 2015 at Committee stage of the whole house.

The controversial KCCA Bill gives powers to the lord mayor as the political head of the city.

Legislators also squashed a proposal of Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area, leaving neighbouring districts to conduct their business with autonomy.

The holder of the office of Lord Mayor now shakes off the ceremonial label.

The bill reinforces the office seen to be weakened by the original Bill, which created the office of Executive Director and Ministers appointed by the President.

Clause 3(2) of the Bill, which was passed by the House scrapped academic qualifications for those seeking to be councilors but retained Advanced Level qualifications for Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor.

Clause 6(a) of the Bill, introduced by the Presidential Affairs Committee Chairperson, Hon Jesca Ababiku seeks to create the position of speaker and deputy speaker.

MPs agreed to support it in principle but MP Muhammad Kivumbi (DP, Butambala) said since chairing council sessions was one of the “few roles exercised by the Lord Mayor,” the proposal should be shelved until the substantive clause relating to the powers of the Lord Mayor is handled.

Ababiku also threw another weight on the position of the Lord Mayor, by promising to propose the creation of an executive appointed by the Lord Mayor from amongst councilors.

MP Betty Nambooze (DP, Mukono Municipality), also Shadow Minister for Information and KCCA, proposed to have the Lord Mayor be referred to, in the Bill, as the political head of the Authority, to which Ababiku accepted, before she was overruled by Deputy Attorney General, Hon Mwesigwa Rukutana.

Rukutana said Kampala enjoys special status in the Constitution under Article 5(4), which he said places the city under the administration of the central government.

The question of who is the political head of the Authority has been among the key catalysts of the catfights between Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and then KCCA Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi.

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