Daily Monitor | Lord Mayor Lukwago’s End Nears As Tribunal Report Is Made Public

Posted November 15, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Kampala Dispatch ~ 4,953 views


lord mayor

Kampala- Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago is guilty of misconduct, abuse of office and incompetence, the tribunal instituted by Kampala minister Frank Tumwebaze to probe the mayor’s conduct ruled.

Minister Tumwebaze now has 14 days to start the process of removing Mr Lukwago from office, whose tenure has been a pain in the neck for the ruling National Resistance Movement – eager to project city executive director Jennifer Musisi as the in-charge of city operations.

The 211-page report that was yesterday handed over to Mr Tumwebaze by High Court Judge Catherine Bamugemereire at his office in Kampala, indicated that the petitioners had succeeded on eight of the 12 grounds they raised against the censure of the mayor.


“The tribunal thus finds that on the basis of the standard of proof adopted earlier in this report, the petitioners have proved a prima facie case for the removal of Mr Erias Lukwago from the position of Lord Mayor of Kampala Capital Authority,” the report concluded. Mr Lukwago has rejected the report, raising legal issues against the process.

The tribunal, which did not blame any of the problems in Kampala on Ms Musisi, whom Mr lukwago accuses of sabotaging his programmes, however, also called for amendment of the Kampala Capital City Authority Act to provide for a non-political city mayor elected from one of the five city division mayors.

The mayor should be elected by councillors from all the divisions with the oversight role of checking service delivery.

“This (KCCA Act) has been the breeding ground for the polarisation caused by the incessant clashes between the technical personnel and the political players. This is best exemplified by the failure to agree whether the executive director or the lord mayor is the head of the authority,” the report noted.

Mr Lukwago, whose two-and-half years at City Hall have been characterised by disagreements with the technical team led by city boss, Ms Musisi, on how projects and funds are managed, last week revealed he is resigned to being kicked out of his seat at the machinations of President Museveni, and has no option but to prepare for by-elections.

Minister Tumwebaze yesterday said he is giving councillors one week to read the tribunal report before they can vote on it.

“Thanks for steering the process through despite the many challenges and this is testimony that you were not engaged in political games but work. It is now up to the councillors either to exonerate the mayor or vote him out,” said Mr Tumwebaze. Mr Lukwago, a DP member who stood as an independent, was elected lord mayor and assumed the office in May 2011 after a hotly-contested race that pitted him against five other candidates, including NRM’s Peter Sematimba.

The Justice Bamugemereire tribunal recommendations

The Minister’s failure and delay to establish or ensure the functionality of the relevant instruments and organs of the Authority is a matter of concern.
• At the time of the investigation, the Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority had not been established while some of the organs of the Authority that had been established were not fully functional. That the functionality of these institutions be considered urgently.
• That the way the KCC Act was written was problematic. This has been the “breeding ground” for the incessant clashes between the technical personnel and the political players.
• Mr Peter Mulira, one of the Tribunal’s witnesses, said many of the problems noted and highlighted in this report could have been avoided if there had been Statutory Instruments to regulate and govern the performance of certain functions. The Tribunal holds the same view.
• Concerns about the role played by politicians manifested a two-faced bearing. On the one hand, the politicians are mandated to play an oversight role, such as through the work of Standing Committees and the signing of minutes that give legal and binding effect to the decisions of the Authority. Indeed the respondent presented evidence of some meetings that were boycotted by councillors. This conduct must be condemned.

• That the division mayors seemed to interprete their role as only relating to management or oversight over funds.
• The Tribunal observed that it was important for the Technical Team at the Authority to realize that, under the present legal regime, the political wing was provided to offer “checks and balances” of their work. But the symbiotic relationship between the technical and political wing as envisaged in the KCCA Act can only thrive if each side takes firm steps to facilitate dialogue.
• That politicians ought to remember that the Authority administers the city on behalf of the Central Government. It is equally important to note that while politicians are not legally-bound by the opinions of the Solicitor General, bodies like the KCCA are.
• That the fact that the ED did not copy some correspondence to the Lord Mayor. The reasons for this were not clear. In the absence of cogent considerations, it is advisable that this practice be stopped in order to engender some benefit in promoting transparency and remove suspicion.

• The Tribunal was not overly concerned with the legal status of the Kampala District Land Board (KDLB). However, the evidence on record suggests that the manner in which the same was closed down was improper and arbitrary. If photographs brought to the Tribunal were to be believed, it was not clear to the Tribunal why the personnel that executed the task seemed to ignore the fact that the documents that were allegedly taken forcefully were sensitive public documents.
Under the law, the Authority has the power and duty to devolve some functions to the divisions. The Tribunal found no evidence of devolution and received complaints from some witnesses regarding the failure of the Authority to devolve functions to the divisions. Consequently, there is a centralisation of power at the Authority and almost no direct responsibilities.
• The Tribunal received divergent views on the role of politicians in running the City including propositions to remove politicians from the Authority.

The tribunal’s verdict and proposals

Where tribunal found Lukwago guilty

• He incited the public against paying taxes. He did so in abuse of his office.
• He unlawfully and illegally recalled KCCA representatives to Makerere University and Mulago Nursing School – abuse of office.
• Even when one-third of KCCA’s 34 councillors petitioned the Lord Mayor to convene special meetings, he refused. At times, he based his excuses on frivolous arguments.
• He also failed to accord standing committees their due mandate and renew them. For a year, there were no standing committees. This pointed to incompetence
• He failed to sign minutes. His excuses did not hold. This was sheer incompetence.
• Misused information when he wrongfully published a management letter of the Auditor General to the Authority, took it to Parliament as if it was a final document.
• He ignored ministerial advice and directives.
Where tribunal found Lukwago innocent.
• He did not incite violence in the city cleaning exercises which had been cleared by police.
• Failure to conduct general meetings of the Authority could not be fully blamed on Lord Mayor.
• There was no evidence of misconduct in relation to disrespect and abuse of staff.

Tribunal’s conclusion
“Having carefully listened to arguments from both sides and considered all the evidence presented in respect of the grounds of the petition raised by the Councillors, the Tribunal established a prima facie case, for the removal of the Lord Mayor from office”.
Advice (on how to constitute a new mayor)
• The Tribunal proposes that the KCCA Act be amended to provide for a city mayor who, although elected by the people, will be inclined less towards politics and more towards service delivery. Tribunal proposes that a city mayor be chosen from among the five mayors of the division urban councils.
• The mayor’s job should be “insulated” from politics and corruption. It should not be a full time job. Mayors should be an accomplished and respected citizen who should not be inclined to derive a sense of status and undue self-esteem from his office.

Below is the link to the full tribunal Report — Courtesy of Simon Kaheru’s blog

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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