Charles Onyango-Obbo:both the Mayor of London and the Lord Mayor are elected figures with executive powers!


I disagree with Charles Onyango-Obbo in his recent article in the Daily Monitor on the link below.Jennifer Musisi has not achieved whatever can be legitimately attributed to her due to her compentence; she’s has been facilitated and enabled by President Museveni, in order to paint Mayor Lukwago as incompentent, and therefore, unfit for the office.

http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/OpEdColumnists/CharlesOnyangoObbo/Jennifer-Musisi-Lukwago-who-would-you-want-to-run-your-city/-/878504/2080528/-/m819cp/-/index.html

In fact, Museveni fulfilled this prophesy by his government-appointed Tribunal that gave him the conclusion he had set out with originally.

Onyango-Obbo is also referencing to the Nairobi City Council, and applauds its management acheivements. Apparently, Charles does not know the history of NCC under President Moi in the 1980’s.

Like Museveni is on Lukwago and Baganda, Moi set out to frustrate and eventually removed Mayor Nathan Kahara for fear that Kahara’s Kikuyu tribesmen were gaining wide economic clout in the city.

Moi had his Local government minister, Moses Mudavandi dissolve the City Council, and named a Commission to run it. The Commission was packed with Moi loyalists.

Lukwago’s fate is a sad commentary of how low Museveni has stooped in his phobic war with Baganda. If Onyango-Obbo still believes that Lukwago simply failed to make an impact in managing Kampala, then his ear must not have touched the ground.

Edward Pojim
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Obbo has written tongue in cheek. What he describes about London is wrong. Please see below a brief description of the role of the Mayor of London, as distinguished from that of the Lord Mayor of the City of London. The City of London is one of 32 boroughs that make up London City or Greater London. The City of London is therefore governed just like any other borough of London. Its elected leader is called Lord Mayor, just like all other boroughs of London, except these other boroughs don’t use the prefix “Lord”. Lewisham where I live has its own Mayor.

The Mayor of London on the other hand is the executive Mayor of all London, including the City of London. He stands above all of the other 32 Mayors including the Lord Mayor. He is an Executive Mayor and his roles are the following :

Mayor of London – role

The Mayor’s role as the executive of the strategic authority for London is to promote economic development and wealth creation, social development, and the improvement of the environment. The Mayor also has a number of other duties in relation to culture and tourism, including responsibility for Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square.

What can the Mayor do?

The Mayor has a range of specific powers and duties, and a general power to do anything that will promote economic and social development, and environmental improvement, in London. Before using many of his powers the Mayor must consult with Londoners, and in all cases, the Mayor must promote equality of opportunity.

The Greater London Authority Act 2007 supplemented and updated the GLA Act 1999 and granted some additional powers to the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Setting strategies for London

The Mayor sets out plans and policies for London covering transport, planning and development, housing, economic development and regeneration, culture, health inequalities, and a range of environmental issues including climate change, biodiversity, ambient noise, waste disposal and air quality.

These individual plans fit together to help deliver the Mayor’s policies. Between them, these plans must also contribute to sustainable development and the health of Londoners.

Planning and housing

The Mayor’s Spatial Development Strategy – the London Plan – sets out the policies for new building and land use in London. London boroughs must refer their local development plans and any major planning applications to the Mayor. The Mayor is responsible for London’s housing strategy, and for the annual regional housing budget.
Funding services for London

The Mayor sets the annual budget for:

-the Greater London Authority
-the Metropolitan Police, who provide policing in the capital, under the oversight of the Metropolitan Police Authority
-Transport for London, which is responsible for London’s buses and the Underground, manages river services and some light rail services, maintains London’s main roads and regulates London’s licensed taxi and private hire services
-The London Development Agency, which works with business to sustain and improve London’s role as a business centre, while increasing economic opportunity for all Londoners
-London Fire Brigade, which responds to fires and promotes fire prevention, under the oversight of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London does not have any of these powers that the Mayor of London has got. What makes the City of London stand out is that it house the “Square Mile”, which is the area where most of the UK’s and in fact world financial services are located.

The roles of Musisi as Executive Director, and Lukwago as Lord Mayor can not therefore be compared to the arrangement in London, because both the Mayor of London and the Lord Mayor of the City of London are elected figures with executive powers, unlike Lukwago who has got only ceremonial powers or very limited executive powers. Secondly, the roles of the Mayor of London and the roles of the mayors of the 32 London boroughs are clearly defined in law and so there is no clash of any nature. Each of these 32 boroughs, including the City of London also elect members to represent them on the London Assembly. A good example to give you a take of the separation powers and differences are emergency situations regarding terrorist threats even inside the Square Mile. It is the Mayor of London responsible for it, not the Lord Mayor.


George Okello

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