There are several challenges surrounding the management of Kampala as a Capital City of Uganda. These challenges emanates from Political, Legal, Economical and Social issues. In this first presentation I wish to examine the challenges, implications and Contradictions in the new Kampala Capital City Act 2010.
1. What is Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)?
Parliament as the author of the Kampala Capital City Act 2010 should come out clearly and tell the Country what Kampala Capital City Authority is i.e. Is KCCA an administrative Authority like Civil Aviation Authority or Uganda Revenue Authority or it is a Political institution/ Local Government conforming to provisions of Chapter 11 of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda. If KCCA is an administrative Authority, then why does it have elected leaders and Urban Division Councils under it?
Section 5 of the KCCA Act provides that, there shall be an Authority to be known as Kampala Capital City Authority.
Section 5(3) provides that the Authority is the governing body of the Capital City and shall administer the City on behalf of the Central Government.
Section 5(4) provides that, any enactment that applies to a District shall be subject to this Act and with necessary modification apply to the Authority. By implication therefore, KCCA is a modified Local government.
In addition, Uganda through the Constitution article opted to be governed under decentralization as a matter of policy. The introduction of an Authority to administer a Local Government on behalf of the Central Government is a big diversion from the Decentralization Policy.
2. Is the Executive Director a Political Appointee or a Civil Servant?
Section 17(2) provides that the Executive Director shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Public Service Commission. Indeed the Act in Section 19 outlines the functions of the Executive Director which are more less the same as those of the Chief Administrative Officers at Districts levels, as provided for under section 63 of the Local Government Act.
However there are overlaps in the laws which may be used to whittle down powers of the elected leaders in the City. For example, Section 19(u) requires the Executive Director to be responsible for the Authority day –to – day operations, while section 17 (1) makes him/her the Chief Executive officer.
Section 19 (v) requires the Executive Director to make a report to Council (Which Council?) on the State of Affairs once a year or as the Minister or Authority may determine. The equivalent of the State of Affairs for a City is the State of the Nation for the Country. What other person or Officer can deliver the State of the Nation Address than the President? The equivalent of the President in Kampala is the Lord Mayor how then can he be denied this seemingly ceremonial role of addressing the Country on the State of Affairs in the City.
Section 11(1) (a) provides that the Lord Mayor shall be the political head of the Capital City, while section 17 (1) provides that the Executive Director shall be the chief executive of the Authority. What is the difference between the Kampala Capital City and Kampala Capital City Authority?
Section 6 however provides that, Kampala Capital City Authority members are;
a) The Lord Mayor
b) The Deputy Lord Mayor
c) One directly elected councilor representing each electoral area
d) Two councilors representing the youth
e) Two councilors representing people with disabilities
f) Women councilors forming a third of the Authority
g) One councilor representing each of the following professional bodies;
i) Uganda institution of professional engineers
ii) Uganda society of architects
iii) Uganda medical association
iv) Uganda law society
Whereas section 5(3) provides that the Authority shall be the governing body of the City, the Executive Director is not on the list of members that make up the Authority as provided for in Section 6 of KCCA. Therefore, when and how does the ED come to the Authority to head it?
The fact that the Executive Director holds out as the Top most Person in the Authority creates confusion in the Authority and offers a fertile ground for power conflicts. There is need to draw a clear line of leadership in the Authority between the Lord Mayor who chairs all meetings of the Authority whose functions (Authority) under Section 7 ranges from Political to administrative on one hand and the Executive Director whose functions under Section 19 makes him/her the head of Civil service as well as being the Accounting Officer.
This can be achieved by amending Section 17 (1) which provides that the Executive Director shall be the chief executive of the Authority for avoidance of doubt.
Section 2 establishes the post of the Minister in charge of Kampala who has been given over bearing powers over the elected leaders of the City, for example;
• Section 21 provides that the minister shall appoint the members of the metropolitan Authority.
• Section 13 provides that the minister shall make regulations of the election of the representative of professional bodies.
• Section 77 provides that the minister shall be responsible for determining the remunerations of all the elected leaders in the KCCA including the Lord Mayor and division Mayors.
• The minister under section 79(3) has veto powers over decisions taken by the Authority that may appear illegal to him or her.
• Section 79(2) the ministers has general powers to give directives on policy and general development of the city.
• Section 26, the minister has powers to make regulations for the operations of the metropolitan police.
Unfortunately, up to now there is no minister for Kampala to exercise these and other powers.
4. Resident City Commissioner (RCC)
Section 71, provides that there shall be for the Capital City, a Resident City Commissioner who shall be appointed by the President and under section 73 it is provided that, there shall be such number of deputies or Resident city commissioners representatives in the capital city as the president may determine. The president has been given a blank cheque to fill in the number of RCC he may wish to appoint.
The functions of these Presidential representatives as provided for under Section 72 are similar to those of the Lord Mayor, those of the Executive Director and those of the Minister. Ordinarily it would be expected that the President does not need an equivalent of the RDC in the capital City because apart from the Lord Mayor , Mayors and Councilors all the other officers of the City are either appointed by him directly or indirectly through his appointed officers. The President is over represented in the City. We shall therefore need more money for salaries instead of providing services to our people. My proposal is to do away with the RCC and or their Deputies for the Executive Director and the Minister can ably represent both the Central Government and the President in the City.
5. Lord Mayor all alone?
Apart from the Deputy Mayor whom the Lord Mayor has to appoint on guideline from among Councilors in a fully constituted Authority, the Act does not give the Lord Mayor a Cabinet.
In the Authority the Lord Mayor doubles as the Speaker who is supposed to be impartial during the Authority meetings.
It therefore follows that as the executive the Lord Mayor generates matters of policy single handedly, takes them to the Authority and chairs meetings to discuss them. This is against the Principal of separation of powers.
The arrangement is not different with the Urban Division Councils of Rubaga, Makindye, Kawempe and Nakawa where Division Mayors are only mandated to appoint a Deputy Mayor and Work without an executive. Similarly there are no speakers at the Divisions.
The law should give the Lord Mayor and Division Mayors Executives and introduce the Position of the Speaker for the Authority and the Division Councils.
6. What is the role of Divisions?
Section 20 provides for lower urban councils under the Authority which include divisions, wards, villages and street committees.
Section 35 provides that, the Authority may in consultation with the central government devolve the functions and services to the divisions. It is not mandatory that roles shall be devolved, it’s optional.
This is an absurdity to create an administrative entity without clear roles, as it can be noted from above divisions have no clear roles, that’s why today there is already conflicts between the divisions and KCCA
Section 49: provides that the budget of the KCCA shall be made by the Authority, which means that the division councils cannot formulate their budgets yet under section 31(d) the division town clerk is required to present an annual budget to the division council. There is need for division councils to formulate their budgets to be harmonized at the Centre (Authority).
The divisions have no votes and all the finances are controlled at the center of the Authority as provided for under section 19 (b) also see the attached letter from Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury to Executive Director dated 2/may/2011
The Law should be amended to restore the Urban Division Councils in their former position with the necessary modification.
7. What is the status of the KCCA Councilors?
Section 33 provides that councilors on Urban Councils shall serve on part time basis; the law is silent on councilors at KCCA.
Are they also part timers or full time employees of the Authority?
If councilors are part timers why were they required to resign their jobs before nominations?
Councilors’ sitting under the Chairmanship of the Lord Mayor forms the Authority which is equivalent to a Parliament or other Councils and this is the Authority which is the Governing body of the Capital City.
However the functions of the Authority as provided for under section 7 are so mixed up and include even implementation roles. For example Sections 7 (g), (h), (I), (j) (k) (q), (r) and 7(2) are all technical roles. These are hanging contradictory functions of the Authority which makes it an implementing institution and yet still the Council or Parliament.
Section 7 therefore needs to be amended to remove implementing roles from the Authority if the Authority which was envisaged under this section is that one whose composition is provided for under Section 6 of the Act.
8. Metropolitan Physical planning Authority
Section 21 establishes a Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority with the following functions;
1. The metropolitan Authority shall be responsible for;
a) Developing Physical Development plan for the Capital City and the metropolitan area.
b) Handling and addressing planning issues within the Capital City and the neighboring districts of Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso
c) Planning major transportation, infrastructure and other utilities in conjunction with other relevant bodies
d) Planning recreation parks, tree planting, green corridors and other environment areas;
e) Overseeing and monitoring the execution of the Metropolitan Authority Development Plan
f) Approving the Capital City, Municipal and Town structure plans and
g) Beautification of the Capital City and the Metropolitan area.
2. The Metropolitan Authority shall have power to veto physical plans or activities that are inconsistent with the Metropolitan Authority Development plan, the metropolitan structural plan or land use policy.
3. The Metropolitan Authority shall ensure that land use in the City and the metropolitan area follow designated plans, irrespective of the tenure of land.
4. The metropolitan Authority shall prepare comprehensive and integrated development plans incorporating the plans of the Lower Urban Councils.
The above responsibilities are by no means enormous but the law is quiet on how and where the Metropolitan Authority will get funds to perform these functions let alone the staff. The law does not lay down a framework or structures through which planners at the Metropolitan Authority will reach the Local governments of Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso. The law does not expressly provide for the representation of Districts on the Metropolitan Authority. Section 22(3) seem to target private land owners and is prone to abuse.
In addition the establishment of a planning Metropolitan Authority to cover Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi is in conflict with section 35 (1) of the Local Government Act which provides that “The District Council shall be the planning Authority of a District” AND Section 30 (3) which provides that “The Urban Councils shall have autonomy over their planning and financial management when carrying out functions and services specified under Part 3 of the second schedule of this Act”.
The Metropolitan Authority cannot therefore Plan for the districts of Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi without a prior amendment of the Local Government Act.
Section 23 provides that the president shall appoint the Deputy executive Director.
Section 24 provides that for effective operation of the Authority, it shall have the following Directorates; Administration and Human resources Management, Treasury, Engineering and Technical services, Public Health and Environment, Education and Social services, Legal Affairs, Revenue collection, Gender, Community Services and Production, Internal Audit and Physical Planning and that each Directorate shall be linked to and foreseen by a standing Committee of the Authority.
All these offices and many others are still vacant creating a very big vacuum.
Section 25, provides that the President may, appoint persons to hold or act in any office in the service of the Capital City of the rank of head of department, including the confirmation of their appointment, disciplinary control over such persons and their removal from office. Considering the status of the presidency the Act created unnecessary Work for the President and most probably the President will not be able to perform the above roles effectively.
10. Who is in Charge of Kampala Capital City Authority Land?
Article 239 of the Constitution provides that the Uganda Land Commission shall hold and manage any Land in Uganda vested in or acquired by the Government and Article 240 provides that there shall be a Land Board for every District. Article 5 (4) gave Kampala a special status which has been strengthened by the Kampala Capital City Act. The Continued existence of Kampala District Land Board therefore is unconstitutional. Even if this Board is to be converted to be called Kampala Capital City Authority Land Board the Constitution does not envisage it and would therefore be unconstitutional.
In total disregard of the fact that Kampala Capital City Authority is a custodian of land on behalf of the public and its own behalf, the Kampala Capital City Act 2010 does not have a single section providing for the existence of a land board or management of Land in the City.
However, currently the old Kampala District Land Board, in total disregard of the above fact, is transacting business including allocating land in the Authority and issuing leases on behalf of Kampala Capital City Authority. This is a very grave anomaly.
11. Capital City Contracts Committee
Section 61 of the KCCA provides that there shall be a Capital City Contracts Committee with members appointed by the Executive Director from among Public Officers and approved by the secretary to the treasury. In absence of this committee, section 69 provides that the secretary to the treasury may in consultation with the Permanent Secretary of the ministry responsible for the capital city, allows the Authority to use the services of the ministry responsible for the capital city or another contracts committee the treasury considers appropriate.
In the circumstances therefore, at the moment, Kampala Capital City Authority does not have a contracts committee constituted under sections 61 or 69 of the Kampala Capital City Act 2010. This therefore implies that the public procurement and disposal of public assets currently taking place in Kampala is illegal. And this has very serious legal implications.
12. Capital City Public Accounts Committee
Section 58 (1) provides that there shall be established for the Capital City, a Public Accounts Committee consisting of a chairperson and four other members appointed by the Authority on recommendation of the Lord Mayor and with the approval of the Minister.
The Lord Mayor is yet to recommend members to the Authority for appointment but even if he had, there is no Minister to approve them. The problem with Kampala Capital City Authority leadership is partly due to the fact that both the political and technical leadership at all levels are not doing the first things first. In other words, in Kampala the cart has been put before the horse.
The Act is full of errors which gives very different meanings to the law, for example; section 82(d) provides that the minister shall in consultation with the Electoral Commission make regulations for the election of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor whereas section 9(2) provides that the Lord Mayor shall be elected by universal adult suffrage through a secret ballot and that the Deputy Lord Mayor shall be appointed from the councilors with the approval of the Authority.
In some sections the Act talks about the “Council” for example section 19 but in actual fact there is no Council to talk about at the level of the Authority.
The Spirit of the Law.
This act was made in bad faith, it is built on the mere fact that one party failed to win elections in Kampala in consecutive elections. The intention was to disenfranchise the people of Kampala and extend the boundaries of the city to Mukono Wakiso and Mpigi.
The law incidentally ended up affecting the untargeted Division Councils more and rendering them redundant. It in addition made decentralization in the City impossible.
However the opposition has its self to blame for failing to prevail over its members who have been the successive Kampala leaders. Corruption, mismanagement and outright stealing of public funds and property by opposition leaning Kampala leaders offered a fertile ground for Kampala take- over. The process was hurriedly done and nobody had time to study this Law.
Not Transitional problems
The most existing problems in Kampala are not transitional, they are deep rooted in the law and the intentions of the people who advocated for the Kampala take over. However well intentioned the current Executive Director is, she cannot run away from the maladministration of the Present Government. A case in point is her U-turn on UTODA issues and her method of frustrating the Lord Mayor who had set off on a good note to fight thugery in the City.
The Executive Director has put up a show with a number of cosmetic activities but in the actual sense there is no real work going on in the city. The Country shall wake up one day to find that we were taken for a ride. Currently the executive Director has sidelined all the former KCC employees who have been subjected to group condemnation. She is working with a pool of “consultants” recruited casually and silently by her and paid handsomely. These young Men and Women all born again Pentecostal Christians are sent on errands in the City on behalf of the Executive Director. In essence the Executive Director is running the City alone while loudly proclaiming that, that is the Position of the law.
Tenders have been given out and big contracts awarded by the Executive Director. How companies are sourced remains a secret. The Lord Mayor is only invited to witness the signing with no say in the deal.
The Kampala Capital City Act 2010 is definitely a very lacking law and cannot be used to cause the desired changes in Uganda’s Capital City. The Idea that Kampala as the Country’s Capital city be given a special status should however be supported. Efforts to deal away with Kampala corrupt leadership need to be supported but it should be noted that Kampala is collapsing due to the work of a well crafted Mafia – racket. The Mafia group is made up of big businessmen and powerful politicians. It shall not be easy to dislodge them but it is worthy starting. It is this group that is believed to have sponsored the Kampala Capital City Act for they had realized that they had run out of tricks to influence elections in Kampala and an anti- Mafia Mayor was in offering.
Clean the existing Legal system of Kampala Capital City Authority by Sponsoring a Petition seeking for the intervention of Parliament in Matters concerning Kampala City and Kampala Metropolitan Authority, with the following prayers;
(i) Setting up of a select committee by Parliament to look into matters surrounding the management of Kampala.
(ii) That Parliament recalls for review the Kampala Capital City Act to address the above anomalies and other contradictions.
(iii) Drop the Sections that put Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi under Kampala Metropolitan Area and instead give capacity to the said Districts to be able to make plans fit for the neighbors of a Capital City.
(iv) That the President be requested to designate the Minister in charge of Kampala and other officers as provided for under the laws and all leaders be requested to give priority to setting up Kampala Government with all its Departments and Committees before they start on any other work .
(v) That the electoral Commission organizes elections for the remaining lower councils including villages and street committees as a matter of urgency to give the City a full and operational Government.
(vi) That the Executive Director be restrained from holding out as the supreme Governor of Kampala Capital City as these powers are vested in the Authority.
I beg to submit.
Hon Nambooze Betty Bakireke