By Hannah Marion Namukasa
Parliament has amended the Kampala Capital City Authority Act 2010 to allow the responsible minister to determine emoluments payable to the authority speaker and deputy speaker as well as their urban division counterparts.
In an uncontested amendment, MPs empowered the Kampala Capital Authority Minister to, in consultation with her Finance and Public Service counterparts to determine the emoluments payable to the leaders.
The amendment was also given a February 2020 retrospective application to cater for former speakers who served but did not get emoluments. “The sinister shall, in consultation with the Minister responsible for Finance and the Minister responsible for the Public Service, determine the remuneration payable to speaker and deputy speaker of the council, councilors of the council, mayors and deputy mayors of lower urban councils, speakers and deputy speakers of lower urban councils, chairpersons and councilors of lower urban councils,” reads clause 2 of the Bill, which was enacted upon concurrence of the House.
Clause 1 which was also enacted with unanimity, provides for the date of commencement of the Act.
“This Act shall be deemed to have come into force on the 1st day of February, 2020,” reads clause 1.
The House, however, couldn’t agree on a proposal to insert a new clause on the Bill to grant powers of drawing KCCA’s budget to the Executive Committee, an organ headed by the Lord Mayor.
The State Minister of KCCA and Metropolitan Affairs, Hon. Kabuye Kyofatogabye resisted the proposal, vouching instead for broader amendments in due course.
“This [proposed amendment] requires a policy justification, therefore I disagree,” he said.
Attorney General, Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka agreed, saying there is no way the purpose of the amendment could be altered to accommodate different proposals that have policy implications.
“When this Bill came to this House, it came for the purposes of dealing with remuneration; the policy issues that we are dealing with now is who brings the KCCA budget to the House,” he said.
The Chairperson of the Committee on Presidential Affairs, Hon. Jesca Ababiku, who had vouched for the amendment, urged government to present a comprehensive amendment within this session.
“Let us have more amendments in three months; as government, we need to do better. The supplementary amendments were brought to the House by the same team and we had to make consultations with other stakeholders,” he said.
Describing the current law as one dogged with ‘inadequacies’, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga said there is need for amendments, asking government to commit to presenting the said amendments within the current session.