Parliament has passed the Kampala Capital City Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2019 granting the Lord Mayor more powers.
The Bill reinforced the office, which some members said had been weakened by the original Bill that created the office of Executive Director and Ministers appointed by the President.
Parliament went ahead to grant the Lord Mayor the responsibility of managing the budget of the institution with technical assistance from the Executive Director.
However, there was a brief impasse in an earlier debate on the Bill between the Opposition and cabinet when Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality) introduced the idea of the Lord Mayor being referred to as the political head in the Bill.
Nambooze, the Shadow Minister for Information and KCCA proposed to have the Lord Mayor referred to as the political head of the Authority, to which Jesca Ababiku, the Chairperson for Presidential Affairs, conceded but was opposed by the Deputy Attorney General, Hon Mwesigwa Rukutana.
Rukutana said Kampala enjoys special status in the Constitution under Article 5(4), which he said places the city under the administration of the central government.
The proposal attracted intense disapproval from a section of lawmakers.
The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, who was chairing then said, “What other name will you give the person elected to be Lord Mayor, if he or she is not the political head of the Authority? The Minister certainly cannot be the political head of the Authority because there is a political process that leads to the election of the Lord Mayor”.
The Bill further gives the Lord Mayor the authority to appoint his Deputy and two other members to serve on a full-time basis.
The Bill, which is awaiting the President’s assent also scraps academic qualifications for Councillors and creates positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker at both the main council and city divisions.
The Bill states that there shall be a, “State of the City” address held annually as an update to the public on the state of affairs.