Government is abandoning a proposal to have the Kampala Lord Mayor voted for by councillors.The State Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority, Benna Namugwanya made the announcement on Tuesday, saying government is in support of the report by the Committee on Presidential Affairs, which in its recommendations on the contentious Kampala Capital City Authority (Amendment) Bill 2015 rooted for the scrapping of the proposal that suggested election of Lord Mayor by city councillors.“Government has reconsidered its position on the issue of election of the Lord Mayor by councillors and we are maintaining the position in the current law in the spirit of not disenfranchising the people of Kampala,” Namugwanya told Parliament.The proposal to elect the Lord Mayor from amongst councillors attracted rebuke from opposition lawmakers who saw mischief in the Bill. Many said it is intended to politically curtail the current Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago.
The proposal had confirmed that the Kampala minister would be the political head of the Authority.
“I thank the committee for saving the universal adult suffrage. We know that the political head is the one who is elected and I want that to be maintained,” said MP Jonathan Odur, MP Erute South.
Although the proposal has some changes, the opposition is still standing against it in its entirety.
Kabweri County lawmaker Francis Gonahasa said the Bill should be withdrawn since it was brought intentionally to politically kill or damage some individuals especially oppositions.
“The Bill is in bad faith; I’m wondering what law we are going to use to run the newly created cities,” said Gonahasa.Butambala MP Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi dismissed the Bill as a tool of politics, saying it violates Article 178 of the Constitution which requires the establishment of regional tiers and together with Article 5(3) is supposed to distinguish Kampala from the capital city.
“We failed to implement the regional tier and failed to create Mengo Municipality (as envisaged under Article 178) this entire amendment does not in any way mitigate the challenges in Kampala. It is simple daylight politicking,” said Kivumbi.
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