Set academic standards for KCCA leaders , Councillors tell MPs

SENABULYA MASSO

A group of councillors at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) have asked Parliament to amend the KCCA Act and set minimum academic qualifications for the city leaders.

The councillors led by Kyambogo University’s Bruhan Byaruhanga told Parliament’s Presidential Affairs committee that its’ embarrassing for Uganda’s capital to have leaders that cannot express themselves in English, the official language.

“Its very embarrassing to sit in council on budgeting day and councillors don’t attend because some words will  not be easily understood to them,” Fatumah Nsereko, the councillor for Kampala Central told the committee.

The committee which is currently scrutinising a bill to amend the KCCA Act heard that, sometimes councillors dodge the Authority meetings because they are conducted in English.

“Business in council is conducted in English but there are councillors who put up their hands and ask to speak in Luganda. One of them heads the Education committee, you imagine a chairperson of a committee in Kampala, the face of Uganda standing up in council asking to speak in Luganda because he wants to express himself better,” Nsereko said.

The inability by some councillors to express themselves in English has affected the self esteem of the city leaders, Nsereko told the MPs.

The current law does not set any minimum academic standards for the city leaders except for the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor who must possess at least an A-level certificate or its equivalent.

Byaruhanga, Nsereko and Moreen Tumusiime asked the MPs to set the same academic standard for KCCA councillors, and, an O-level minimum for the city division leaders.

Raising the bar for the KCCA councillors, the group argued, will give the Lord Mayor a high calibre of leaders to work with.

The amended law, the councillors suggested, should establish the position of a speaker for the authority councillors to enjoy neutral debates.

“We need the position of speaker and deputy speaker of KCCA  so as we do away with partiality where someone has a side while chairing the KCCA council,” Byaruhanga said.

All KCCA council meetings under the current law are chaired by the Lord Mayor.

The MPs asked the councillors for their views on the relevance the four professional councillors at KCCA since the authority has technical officers who can interprete to the councillors technical issues.

The group however declined to respond since the issue directly affects their colleagues at City Hall.

The current KCCA council has four councillors representing professional bodies. They include, Frank Kanduho, representing the Uganda Law Society, Verna Mwinganisa Mbabazi of Uganda Society of Architects, Eng Karuma Kagyina of Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers and Dr Denson Nyabwana of Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Association.