KAMPALA. The frosty working relationship between Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)’s technical team and political team seems far from over following a decision by the former to allegedly snub a meeting called by Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.
Mr Lukwago had called the meeting two weeks ago to discuss a wide range of issues which he said needed urgent attention.
Key on the order paper was an internal audit report on Mr Lukwago’s botched impeachment in 2013, a report on management of Usafi and Wandegeya markets, remuneration of the Authority’s accounting body and consideration of the Lord Mayor’s proposals on the ongoing restructure of government agencies, among others.
In a September 27 letter to the Lord Mayor, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen, KCCA’s acting executive director, Samuel Serunkuuma noted that the technical staff were unable to attend the council meeting because they would be engaged in a management meeting that sits every Tuesday.
“…while we are mindful of the significance of the items on the agenda to be discussed, we request that you consider changing the date of the said meeting to allow the KCCA management team attend a pre-scheduled technical planning committee meeting,” reads in part Mr Serunkuuma’ s letter.
This letter triggered outrage among councillors who had attended the highly anticipated meeting.
They accused the technical staff of frustrating their work, arguing that such ‘arrogance’ and ‘disrespect’ of the person of the Lord Mayor paints a pale picture of the Authority.
By 10am, the council room was still closed, something that further angered the councillors who alleged that it was intentionally closed by the technical staff to block the meeting. It was later opened amidst fear that chaos could erupt.
As tempers flared, Mr Lukwago convened a crisis one-hour closed door meeting with councillors to forge a way forward.
Mr Lukwago wondered why KCCA technical staff could snub the meeting yet he had notified them two-weeks before the meeting date.
“The business of council takes precedence of all other things because it’s the supreme body of this institution. Members of the technical team aren’t being honest because they were aware of this meeting,” he said.
He later backed a proposal by councillors to have the meeting rescheduled for Wednesday next week to enable the technical staff attend.
But Bruhan Byaruhanga, the KCCA male councillor representing Kyambogo University accused the Lord Mayor of being ‘inconsiderate’ to the requests made by the technical staff, adding that for an institution to move forward, mutual respect is paramount.
However, Doreen Sabuka, the female councilor representing Makindye Division condemned the act by KCCA staff, warning that it could paralyse operations in the institution.
When contacted, Peter Kaujju, KCCA’s director of public and corporate affairs dismissed the allegations that the technical staff are frustrating efforts of council.
“We always have management meetings every Tuesday of the week and we actually wrote to the Lord Mayor informing him. We are ready to attend the council meeting if its rescheduled to another day,” he said.