Professor of politics indeed he was. Now glorified for his hitherto chastised obstinacy, Kenyan Baaba wa Taifa, Mtukufu Daniel arap Moi used his ‘dictatorship’ to solve the Nairobi Mess, which Uganda can learn from to fix the Kampala Mess. Faced with a fracas worse than what we see in Kampala, he set up The Nairobi City Council Commission, akin to KCCA here. One unique feature about the NCCC was that it was under a purely technical management dispensation. No mayors. No councillors. No politician whatever. The NCCC, created by one man harangued for his dictatorship, set the agenda and foundation for the marvel that we see today in Nairobi. The new reforms that brought in the mayor and councillors found systems too entrenched to be shaken by political squabbles a la Lukwago, Munyagwa versus Musisi. The Minister for Nairobi, a compromise office under the co-habitation government, equally has his supervisory roles defined. And The City in the Sun is shining.
Kampala must go the same way. We must start afresh. The current ‘technical’ team and ‘political leaders’ are all too power-obsessed to have any impact. We have men and women in this country who can do us better than we are getting now. And the current law ( KCCA Act) must be scrapped totally. It is the source of all this mess. If Kampala Capital City is under the central government, it cannot be a local government again, with mayors, councillors, RDCs, et al. As we seek a better law, let the PS Public Service take over as signatory to the World Bank funded Kiteezi Garbage Project. Hiding behind ‘interpreting the law’, the protagonists in the KCCA feud are primary fighting over the billions under this project. Started during Ssebaggala’s times, the terms of the project are that the mayor is the signatory to the account. Musisi wants to sign. Lukwago wants to sign. The project has stalled. Garbage is flowing. Residents risk catastrophic epidemics. The workers there were sacked under the new KCCA arrangement. The peasants, whom each side in the KCCA feud claims to be fighting for, are the victims, both in Kampala and in Kiteezi. Musisi’s children have a better life. Lukwago’s children dont go to Nakivubo Blue Primary School.
Parliament, lawyers, civil society, please, help. Else, the Luzira deaths seem a precursor for worse times.
Every waking day in Kampala dips our hopes even further, of ever living in a decent environment. What exactly is the problem? I have not read the KCCA Act but from the actions, behaviour and comportment of those whose roles and functions it defines, one can safely conclude that we are governed by a very bad law, inadvertent or otherwise. How does one explain an entity that has a lord mayor and councillors, mayors and councillors, a minister, an RDC and deputies, as political leaders; with a technical team that directly reports to the national head of state? Is it a local government, a ministry, a parastatal, an authority, an NGO, or a movement?
What exactly did the framers of this law have in mind as they went about passing each clause? Did they envisage a Kampala Capital City as a geographical entity, with an administrative status of a local government, and then the Authority, a statutory body mandated by the central government to manage Kampala Capital City? What does KCCA as we have parroted it, exactly mean? Is it a fusion of an authority (as in Uganda Investment Authority, National Drug Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, et al), and then a local government (as in a district, a municipality, or city) or the two are different? Can Kampala, the geographical entity, be a local government and a national statutory body (authority), at the same time?
Just like in other situations where we have sought independent management, isn’t it time we got an independent, professional management company, with no loyalties whatsoever? Something like a Kampala Metropolitan Management Company (KAMCO)? We negotiate terms and their management fees. This arrangement will not have taken away the people’s sovereignty and powers, since people’s councils will remain in the form of Neighbourhood Assemblies, which will demand for services, in consonance with their taxes collected by KAMCO. The Neighbourhood Assemblies will handle local neighbourhood matters. Education, roads, health, water, power, security, planning, public transport, and all other services shall be delivered or supervised by the technical staff recruited and paid by KAMCO, according to the management contract with the Neighbourhood Assemblies. Our obligations and expectations shall be defined in the context of paying taxes and receiving quality services respectively. The Chief Executive of the managing company will be under a different dispensation, with the overall responsibility of overseeing an operations team to deliver services to the city residents. The success of community policing and other community efforts by citizens is an indicator that people can plan their own affairs. This actually is the genesis and true meaning of civil society.
Amon b mbekiza