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Parliament Passes KCCA Amendment Bill 2015

Parliament has passed the KCCA Amendment Bill 2015, bringing an end to the protracted two year debate between lawmakers and the Executive.

The bill streamlines roles and responsibilities of different offices, a move which both the Government and opposition think will end the long-standing battles.

The initial proposal that sought to rationalize provisions relating to the metropolitan physical planning Authority was deleted from the bill.

The bill was supposed to be passed on Wednesday but Benny Namugwanya Bugembe, the state Minister for Kampala failed to agree with MPs on the creation of department in the Ministry to be in charge of physical planning in districts of metropolitan Kampala which encompasses Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi districts.

Several MPs within the named districts protested the move, saying they aren’t willing be work under the armpits of KCCA accusing the Authority of bullying other local governments with calls to have the physical planning placed under the Ministry of Land, a proposal Namugwanya protested.

However, yesterday, Namugwanya told Parliament that the Executive had since shifted its earlier position and they would now like the law to state that the ministry of Kampala in consultation with the ministry of lands and local government shall coordinate physical planning activities.

Among the proposals that raised a heated debate was Clause 3(2) of the Bill, which was passed by Parliament scrapping academic qualifications for those seeking to be councilors but retained Advanced Level qualifications for Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor.

Legislators also rejected the proposal to change modus operandi for election of lord mayor from universal adult suffrage to an electoral college of councilors, warning the move would create anarchy in already politically porous Kampala.

 The lawmakers’ warning was in support of recommendation by the Presidential Affairs Committee on a report on the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Amendment Bill 2015 whose objective was to provide for election of Lord Mayor among the councilors other than have the political head directly elected by voters in Kampala.

Jesica Ababiku, Chairperson Presidential Affairs Committee while tabling the report informed Parliament that the committee that they had rejected the said proposal as well as suggestion to make the Minister of Kampala as political head instead of lord mayor, saying the position of political head is useless because it doesn’t come with functions.

Clause 6(a) of the Bill also created the position of speaker and deputy speaker Kampala Capital City Authority, a development that means that the Lord Mayor ceases to have powers to preside over KCCA Council sittings. 

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