City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has suspended the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) council meetings indefinitely following a stalemate between the technical and political wings.
KCCA directors have so far boycotted three consecutive council meetings. The impasse started on January 25 when the directors refused to participate in a council meeting that had been described as "null and void" by the Kampala minister, Beti Kamya. Kamya argued that argued that there is nothing called "resumed meeting" in the KCCA Act.
The resumed meeting is a continuation of previous meeting's agenda. Councillors blocked the directors for over an hour when they decided to walk out of the "resumed meeting", saying they are only answerable to the minister.
As a result, Lukwago postponed the meeting to January 29, but the directors snubbed it citing security reasons. In his January 29 letter to the Lord Mayor, the acting KCCA deputy executive director, Samuel Sserunkuma, said the conduct of the councillors during the January 25th meeting in, which "technical staff were held hostage for almost an hour was dishonourable and disconcerted members of management."
He noted that they would not attend any other council meeting until councillors commit not to engage in any other acts that threaten the security and liberty of the technocrats. Sserunkuma further noted that councillors must commit to maintain the decorum of council meeting.
A committee chaired by the deputy Lord Mayor, Sarah Kanyike was formed to engage the technical wing and resolve the impasse. The committee met KCCA directors on January 31. Kanyike said they agreed to harmonise their working relationship with management. The only demand from the directors, she told council, was that the resolutions be put in writing, which was done on the same day.
On Friday, councillors thought the relationship between the two sides had normalised when the directors attended a special council meeting held in honour of a deceased Central Division councillor. However, councillors were stunned this morning when Sserunkuma wrote another letter, setting more conditions before the directors resume attending council meetings.
Sserunkuma said the meeting with select committee of councillors also resolved that management should arrange for an engagement with members of the authority to review their rules of procedure and re-engineer the business process of the authority and develop a work plan.
However, Lukwago said the rules of procedure and business of the council can't be dictated by the directors. He suspended the meeting sine die and sent back the select committee to engage with the directors further.
"I would like to see if you’re really serious and you want to resolve this matter. This afternoon you stay around, at 2pm you participate in the engagement with the French ambassador, and thereafter we sort ourselves with the executive director and the directors. This meeting is adjourned sine die. Go with your committee and sort out these matters with the directors and then things will end there." said Lukwago.
"When I come back when they are not resolved, I will not …just get it from me, I will not call any other authority meeting unless they are resolved. Unless you have found means and ways; whether going to court or going to parliament…doing whatever. But I can’t continue with this kind of meeting. This is the last kind of meeting that I’m holding of this nature. So we have to find means and ways of having of formal meeting sittings. Yes meeting is adjourned indefinitely until these issues are resolved," he added.