For more than four years now, the conflict between the political and technical leadership in Kampala has raged on with no end in sight. Sadly, all attempts to resolve the problems have been in vain. Since Mr. Elias Lukwago’s first election as Lord Mayor of Kampala in 2011 under the new KCCA Act, 2010, there has been a semblance of a ‘civil war’ of sorts, primarily between him and the KCCA Executive Director, Ms Jennifer Musisi, which has plunged the city into economic and political turmoil.
On Friday the 15th of April 2016, the Uganda National NGO Forum in Partnership with the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) organized a high level policy dialogue to initiate a constructive process of engagement between Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) political and technical leadership to foster effective service delivery and socio-economic transformation of the City.
Themed, “Building Bridges and Partnerships for Peace in KCCA: Policy Options for Effective Service Delivery”, the round table dialogue brought together both the political and technical leadership, City Councilors, Division Mayors, Policy analysts and Media Practitioners to engage in a candid conversation on what needs to be done in order to resolve the current political standoff.
For a long time, Kampala has exhibited a deep institutional dysfunction that rendered the implementation of effective urban planning virtually impossible. The Acting Director, Fiscal Planning, Mr. Moses Atwine who represented the KCCA Executive Director, provided a comprehensive layout of the KCCA Development Plans and policies which provided the bedrock for an in-depth discussion and analysis of the policy gaps, challenges and implementation bottlenecks.
Dr. Ramathan Ggobi, whose presentation explored ‘The Economic Cost of the KCCA Conflict’, underscored the need for KCCA policymakers and technocrats to pursue efficiency and forget all about equity in order to build towards sustainable peace.
In his statement, Hon. Henry Banyenzaki, the state Minister for Urban Planning pledged Government’s determination to work with the opposition political leadership in order to resolve the existing conflict and provide services to the people. “We are aware that the city hall is largely opposition councilors, we will make sure we work closely with them for the development of the city.” He said, adding that “the course of dialogue to resolve conflict is the best and we do appreciate NGO Forum and ACODE for this initiative.”
The Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago also underscored various political, legal and policy limitations that have thwarted progress in the City which revealed a lot of salient but silent issues to the participants and thus called upon all stakeholders to work together in order to engender progress.
In the maze of these attendant challenges, however, there was unanimity expressed on people’s expectation and desire for inclusive and sustainable development of Kampala City.
Story by Chris Nkwatsibwe