On Monday, October 15, the Kampala Capital City Authority Executive Director wrote a 21-page resignation letter to the President Museveni. In the document, Jennifer Musisi highlighted her achievements and and blamed her ‘poor performance’ over seven years to inadequate funding and ‘fights’ with political leaders in the city.
Looking back at the Lukwago-Musisi clashes
By Stephen Kalema
A day later, the Lord Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago held a press conference in a joyous mood, celebrating the resignation of his ‘number one enemy’.
Lukwago said; “I was very happy over Musisi’s resignation. News hovered over the social media and now it has become a song. This is a day I could not think of. It’s a momentous occasion for me am sorry to be overboard but am excited.”
But why was he happy?
Musisi was appointed to office after Parliament had changed Kampala City Council to Kampala Capital City Authority under the KCCA Act of 2010. In this Act, the Executive Director is answerable to Minister of Kampala, the elected mayor became ‘Lord Mayor’ but largely a ceremonial position. Lukwago, who had overwhelmingly been elected never accepted the new setup, thus the birth of all clashes between Lukwago and Musisi.
In 2011 Lukwago clashed with Musisi over collection of trading license fees which Parliament had since suspended. However, Musisi claimed that taxes were to be collected to facilitate the Kampala’s budget but Lukwago wanted to first review the licenses to avoid over charging traders.
In the same year, during a council meeting, the two clashed again, mainly over tax operations contracts.
As chair of the meeting, Lukwago asked Musisi to deliver the contracts to him. She refused, saying; “As the overall leader I am aware of the new contract and they are running perfectly.”
He could not win this battle.
Then came the eviction of street vendors.
Musisi ordered eviction of all street vendors giving them a two week ultimatum to find an alternative place to sale their goods. However, Lukwago insisted that vendors should not be evicted before alternative place is found for them.
With the help of police, Musisi succeeded in violently evicting them.
That was before the two clashed over salaries.
Musisi proposed new salary structures for her self, the Lord Mayor and other senior staff of KCCA without consulting Lukwago. Musisi proposed her salary as Shs43.7m per month while she proposed for Lukwago Shs33m a month. This left Lukwago furious.
“In any case why should the Executive Director, who is like a permanent secretary earn more than me the head of KCCA? This is deliberate attempt to marginalize me yet I was elected by people,” he said then.
He never stopped running to the press. Or courts.
On September 23, 2011, Lukwago filed a petition in High court asking for interpretation of KCCA act as regards the
powers of Lord Mayor and Executive Director.
On that particular day, he was quoted as saying; “I have no job as Lord Mayor because I can not deliver what I promised my people. Everything is run by Musisi.” To which Musisi replied she was running the city according to the KCCA Act 2010.
“Executive Director has powers to do whatever she has done,” Musisi noted.
The two principals were not done. Lukwago accused Musisi before the High Court of being one of the people withholding his salary arrears and emoluments amounting to over Shs536 million. That was after he was impeached through connivance by Musisi, Frank Tumwbaze and the city councilors. He still awaits his money even after court ordered that it is paid in full.
During the recent capital city tour by President Museveni, Museveni told city dwellers that he appointed Musisi to deal with Lukwago.
“For over 20 years you chased me out of city and allowed in thieves. However, due to powers I have as President I brought in KCCA to deal with opposition and you see she has delivered. Leave alone these shouting leaders like the Lukwagos,” President Museveni said then.
That is why, during the Tuesday press briefing, Lukwago said the outgoing ED should account for every penny she spent.
“I want her to come before the board and account for every penny she spent,” a jubilant Lukwago said.