By Stephen Kalema
For almost two months now, staff of Kampala Capital City Authority, have lived and worked with the fact that Jennifer Musisi was set to leave on December 14, 2018.
And so on Friday, many lined the corridors that lead to the boardroom at City Hall to catch a glimpse of the outgoing Executive Director.
Clad in a cream modern BugandaGomesi,with maroon belt and high heel shoes, Musisi stepped outside the boardroom and made one last, long walk to ‘freedom,’ as staff clapped, waved and clamored for one final hug.
She never looked back, instead enjoying the attention she was being given.
Outside City Hall, she was met by more staff and hundreds of KCCA law enforcement officers in yellow shirts and black trousers. They were all in a somber mood with many crying uncontrollably.
Two of those were her now former communications staff – Peter Kauju and Robert Kalumba who took to comforting themselves after Musisi boarded her private car at around 11.30am and drove out of the City Hall gate.
They could barely talk to the press.
But Nasuuna Mirembe who works in physical planning department summed up what everyone was feeling.
“She was a mother who listened and she knew how to deal with challenges. I am what I am because of her. My greatest worry is who going to handle us like she did,” Mirembe said before dashing off to wipe her tears.
Earlier in the day, Musisi handed over office to Kampala Minister Betti Kamya at a press conference, not even her immediate bodyguard knew about. The press conference commenced at 10.20am.
Musisi had entered the boardroom of the Executive escorted by Kauju and Kalumba. Kamya and her team closely followed.
After welcoming remarks by Kauju, a beaming Musisi read her farewell statement.
“Seven years and eight months ago I walked in the City Hall for the very first time and I was introduced to the public as the first Executive Director of KCCA. During this whole period, I have worked hard with my team so that we deliver quality services to Ugandans which they had yearned for in the previous time.
“As I handover the office of Executive Director of KCCA and the city today, I would like to say that I have fulfilled the commitment which I had promised to Ugandans when I came in. I want to thank people of Uganda for encouraging, helping and criticizing up to where we have reached,” said Musisi.
She continued: “I am very glad that I have led the team which has created impact in the city for seven years and eight months. I have done all I can to faithfully add value on what I found not worthy and now I am leaving it worthy. I thank God for enabling me to perform this great task. I am also grateful for President, for giving me this opportunity. I am therefore handing back this office to Ugandans.”
On the continuation of the city development, Musisi said that if the team is given enough support and funds, all projects will continue.
Kamya, who had entered with a smiling face earlier spoke in a low, sorrowful voice.
“I have seen many people working but I had never met a person who worked with a lot of professionalism like Musisi. However, I receive this office on condition because the President has not yet accepted her resignation. I think by Monday we shall have known the next step. I want to wish her success in whatever she is going to pursue,” said Kamya.
Musisi then handed over a list of seven certificates of land titles (250 land titles), Ministerial policy, all performance reports of KCCA, KCCA strategic plans, Assets Registry and seal of the authority, 13 bank accounts having over Shs113.9bn.
Kamya then handed them over the representative of auditor general’s office, Dr. Christopher Makanga.
“I have handed over these documents for auditing,” she said before assuring KCCA staff members that nobody is going to intimidate them or suck them.
Journalists were not allowed to ask any questions as Musisi stepped out to make the long walk through the long corridor she has bossed for seven years. One final time.