I am struggling to fathom why the Lord Mayor chose to pursue actions that disrupt his own agenda that he marketed to the people of Kampala in the 2011 Mayoral Elections. Lord Mayor Lukwago promised to support programs that would transform Kampala into a 21st Century City-i.e. a secure city, a clean city, a green city, non-congested city etc. With his election, we expected the Lord Mayor to take up his role with measured swagger, zest, total commitment and rapport necessary to make things happen. Instead the Lord Mayor sidestepped his agenda and straight away without reference to provisions of KCCA Act that stipulate his role as a ceremonial Lord Mayor started power grabbing maneuvers, administrative reverse engineering, quarrels and comic campaigns against building of roads, modern markets, clean Kampala drives, paved driveways and boulevards etc. Of course a section of councilors at City hall complained through a petition and now Lukwago is guilty of inciting the public against paying taxes (economic sabotage), failure to convene KCCA special meetings, failure to renew standing committees, failure to sign minutes, abuse of information in his possession and illegally recalling KCCA representatives to Makerere University and Mulago Nursing school.
What next for Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago? He can choose to raise his moral bar by taking a humble pie and resign. He can also challenge the report in court. He can apologize to petitioners or campaign and defeat the removal motion in the expected KCCA meeting that will be convened before 28th November 2010 in accordance with the law. Now the future of Lukwago as ceremonial Lord Mayor of Kampala lies with himself, KCCA Councilors and the people of Kampala. But whatever happens in the coming days or months, Lord Mayor Lukwago abused his office and that will remain on record. The 211 page report is now a public document. A public document that emanated from a legally sanctioned process (Section 12 of the Kampala Capita City Act, 2010), valid grounds, fair hearing and natural justice and delivered by a competent tribunal chaired by Honorable Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire.
People of Uganda should now watch actions of Lukwago carefully. Will he behave in a decorum expected of him as a ceremonial Lord Mayor or he will continue with his rabblerousing comedy aimed at inciting people, seeking cheap popularity, seeking sympathy, playing to the gallery or he will rather pickup pieces and with humility seek to rally councilors and people of Kampala behind the promise he made to them when they earlier elected him into the ceremonial office. Will he continue to be an appendage of former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Dr. Warren Kiiza Besigye? Perhaps the next petition against Lukwago will come from leadership and members of the Democratic Party (DP)- because petitioners against him included some DP councilors and since election in 2011, Lukwago has been palling with FDC leaders instead of leaders of his own party. Isn’t it curious that the DP President Nobert Mao has been conspicuously quiet on Lukwago’s goings on? Lukwago may not only be a saboteur of his own in KCCA but also his own party the DP! Well, those are matters of DP and I will keep it at that. But I am sure, people of Kampala will not accept to be duped by Lukwago- Besigye marriage of convenience that vends chaos in our fast transforming city- Kampala.
Indeed as a Ceremonial Lord Mayor, Lukwago would do well by involving himself into initiatives that would make Kampala the oasis of East Africa- with First World Standards that would attract business people to make Kampala a base for their businesses and tours of the region. Physical Infrastructure and other forms of hardware are the easiest to improve (and should be left to technocrats and bureaucrats at KCCA) compared to the software of rough ways and habits of many city dwellers. We for instance have ensuing backward habits of like people who move in our city spitting, people driving posh cars but throwing garbage through the car windows, people who abandon walk ways and choose to walk on lush and green grass in the city, taxi drivers who park and load passengers in middle of roads, people who make unnecessary noise in parks, restaurants etc., people who graze cows in the middle of the city, some bodabodas that zigzagg on roads with impunity, people who go picking their teeth in public, people urinating on roadsides in broad day light, people smoking in public etc.
You see, Erias Lukwago would be a great mayor if he concentrated to changing these habits and attitudes through sensitizing and mobilizing people of Kampala to adopt modern habits and etiquette. Better habits have potential to reduce the cost of maintaining a clean city and making Kampala a city of Modern world. In addition he would be the champion of turning Kampala into a tropical garden by spearheading greening efforts like planting of trees, maintenance of gardens etc. He should let bureaucrats at KCCA do the hardware stuff- of building roads, super highways, underground mass transit transport system, flyovers, paved roads, boulevards etc. Perhaps Kampala will need a more ideological Mayor who deals with simple but even more strategic things. Can we still trust Erias Lukwago? Your guess could be as good as mine.
Special Presidential Assistant – Research and Information