BETI KAMYA PLOTS FRESH OFFENSIVE ON LUKWAGO
By Our Reporters
In a bid to further isolate Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, the Kampala Minister Beti Kamya has released a program that will see her visit all the 5 City Divisions while holding marathon meetings with the 5 Mayors and their councilors in the next 10 days. The tours, during which Kamya will be seeking to make herself better understood by the elected leaders, are starting tomorrow Thursday 1st February with Rubaga Division at exactly 10am. 2nd February is Makindye Division at 10am followed by Nakawa on 6th February at 2pm and Kawempe will be 7th at 2pm. Kampala Central Division will come last on 8th February at 2pm. The timing of the tours is what makes the whole thing very controversial.
As Mulengera news has previously reported, the five Mayors leading these Divisions (respectively Joyce Sebugwawo, Ali Mulyanyama, Eng Ronald Balimwezo, Emmanuel Serunjogi & Charles Musoke Serunjogi) have declared war on Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago who maintains it’s the Minister Kamya using them to politically antagonize him. Kamya’s January 29th letter is addressed to the Division Mayors and not the Councilors whom she will be addressing. Officially the letter states that she will be using the meetings to sensitize councilors about the legal provisions governing the waste management framework agreements KCCA has with various private firms hired to collect garbage in the Divisions.
This in fact is one area fermenting conflict between Erias Lukwago’s City Hall and the 5 Mayors for the Divisions. Whereas the Division Mayors have previously convened meetings to pass resolutions expelling these firms on grounds that they are very exploitative by charging households high fees, City Hall has urged caution because any breach on part of KCCA will result in very expensive litigation. Sometime back, Rubaga III Councilor for City Hall Ddamba Ismail was violently chased from the Rubaga Council meeting after correcting Sebugwawo that any arbitrary expulsion of the garbage collecting firms from Rubaga would result into the Authority being sued for breach of contract.
“It’s a very divisive issue on which battle lines have been drawn and the minister’s insistence to go talk about it will only escalate misunderstandings between Erias Lukwago on one hand and herself plus the Divisions on the other,” said one of the knowledgeable officials we spoke to for this article.
CITY HALL’S PAST FAILURES:
What makes Kamya’s tours even more complicated and likely to create more contradictions is the fact past efforts by officials from City Hall to tour the same Divisions for similar (garbage) meetings were thwarted by some of the Division Mayors and some of their councilors. November last year, a team of Authority Councilors communicated interest to work with the Division Mayors to have meetings with lower level councilors to discuss the very matter of garbage collection by private firms in their Divisions.
Some of the mayors indicated it wouldn’t be possible as they would be away on the days the Authority Councilors were proposing to come around. City Hall tried to arrange to have these meetings in the subsequent days and weeks but still some of the Mayors weren’t forthcoming.
Kamya’s letter to the Division Mayors is dated Monday 29thJanuary and because she didn’t copy it to them, some councilors are already riding on this loophole to frustrate Kamya’s tours. They claim that failure to address the letter to them directly shows how contemptuous she is of them.
“Some of those Division Councilors are just money makers. They are now angry and frustrated because they went to Kyankwanzi expecting money and they didn’t get as much as they expected. They met the President, who instead of giving them money, focused them on urban farming and promised them one cow each.
They are now angry at the Minister and you wonder where they expected her to get the money from,” said a KCCA official who is very supportive of Beti Kamya’s leadership style. “She is very consultative and that is what is critical as opposed to giving councilors money.” We were unable to readily establish whether City Hall leaders had been invited and intended to attend the Minister’s tours.
GETTING THEM CASH:
In a related development, having realized there isn’t much money in government, Beti Kamya appears determined to prove her worth to the councilors when it comes to materially bettering their lives.
This same week she wrote a letter to Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) seeking clarification on how her Division councilors can be prepared to benefit from the government billions available at PSFU under the Skills Devepment Fund operated there.
She has been on phone engaging PSFU Executive Director Gideon Bagadawa about the same. The PSFU Secretariat has consequently assigned Ms Ruth Musoke Biyinzika as the officer to work with Beti Kamya to ensure that at least 200 Division councilors are trained and economically supported under this Fund.
According to one of Beti Kamya’s letters, Ruth Musoke will next Wednesday 6th February meet and sensitize the 200 councilors at Conference Hall of the President’s office.
Reliable sources close to Kamya told us “the truth is there is no money and yet these councilors have very high expectations which government now must manage by keeping them engaged and hopeful that something is coming.”