KAARO KARUNGI| CITY HALL More than ten councillors-elect have expressed interest to contest for the position of Speaker and Deputy of Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA.
Six councillors want the speakership job while five are eyeing the position of deputy speaker. The two positions were introduced in the KCCA Amendment Act 2020. The speaker presides over all council all meetings.
The National Unity Platform-NUP party dominates the incoming council with 41 councillors, Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party has three while the National Resistance Movement-NRM has seven. There is one independent.
The Speaker also influences the direction of the debate in the council and has the advantage to influence the decisions of the Council.
Some of the majority of the elected councillors who are members of the National Unity Platform-NUP party have started lobbying for the positions.
John Mary Ssebuufu, Nakawa West Councilor -elect is one of the councillors who has expressed interest in the position of the speaker.
Ssebuufu, who served as councillor for Kampala Central from 2006 to 2011 brags about a vast experience in administration which he says makes him a better candidate for the job.
Other candidates are James Mubiru, a renowned political and human rights activist now councillor elect for Lubaga North. Mubiru, a lawyer by profession was in 2019 arrested and charged for obstructing justice after he offered to drive four suspects charged with the murder of former Police Spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Mubiru, who is also the NUP coordinator for Lubaga North Constituency was also arrested in July last year for distributing food to residents in the constituency during the covid-19 lockdown.
Another councillor is Zahara Luyirika, who will represent Makindye West in the next council as a Woman Councilor. Formerly a member of the Democratic Party-DP, Luyirika served as youth Counselor for Makindye Division in 2006 before becoming Woman Councilor Makindye West in 2011.
In 2016, she lost her seat to FDCs Doreen Sabuka who she has since beaten in the recently concluded election. Luyirika is remembered for her active role in the 2013 impeachment of Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. Working closely with Kyambogo University Councilor Bruhan Byaruhanga and 15 others, they petitioned the then Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Frank Tumwebaze against Lukwago whom they accused of abuse of office, incompetence and attempting to sabotage activities of KCCA.
Former Bukedde TV Presenter, Innocent Tegusulwa is yet another contestant for speaker. Tegusulwa is the NUP Party registrar for Electoral affairs in charge of Kampala says that he can guide the council to debate Kampala’s challenges. However, some of his colleagues want him as a caucus chairperson.
Jeremiah Keeya Mwanje who will represent Kasubi in Lubaga Division is yet another aspirant. He is a former Legal Officer at Parliament of Uganda and former contestant of the Bukomansimbi Parliamentary seat. In their division caucus, councillors from Kawempe are fronting Julius Kateregga, the NUP National Youth Coordinator and councillor elect for Kawempe South 1 for the Speakership job. However, when contacted, Kateregga, who is the current Guild President of Makerere University, says that he is interested in the deputy speakership position.
Kateregga now joins Nusifa Nakato (Woman Councilor-elect for Kawempe North), Richard Ssembatya from Makindye, Rose Kigozi, woman councillor-elect for Lubaga South and Kenneth Male who are all eying the same seat.
According to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity NUP councillors have written to the party Secretary General Lewis Rubongoya asking the party to vet three councillors per position for the party caucus to choose from.
However, Rubongoya says that they are not in a rush to deal with that matter.
In 2019 when KCCA councillors elected their first speaker and deputy speaker, the party leadership fronted Doreen Nyanjura as the speaker but the majority of the FDC councillors preferred the Lubaga North councillor (now MP Elect for Lubaga North) Abubaker Kawalya who was eventually elected speaker while NRM’s Bruhan Byaruhanga was elected Deputy Speaker.
Following the Amendment of the KCCA Act, the Speaker earns a salary of 13.8 Million Shillings and a monthly allowance of about 2.6 million Shillings, 2.1 million for housing, 182,000 Shillings for airtime and 230,000 Shillings for medical care. The speaker is also entitled to a Personal Assistant.
The deputy speaker earns 11 Million Shillings, receive a monthly car allowance of 2.5 Million Shillings, airtime 144,000 Shillings and 233,000 Shillings for medical allowance.
URN and The Independent Magazine (IPL)
This Story appeared on the Independent magazine Uganda Online news first