Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is not a very interesting place to be nowadays. The pomp and pride with which its new employees carried themselves the first five or so years of the changeover from Kampala City Council to KCCA is almost all gone.
More than half a dozen of officials, including former executive director Jennifer Musisi, have resigned from their jobs despite the high salaries they got paid. To go with the salaries, Musisi and her officials were allowed to act with much more wherewithal than most public servants in Uganda. They fixed a number of roads, cleared streets of vendors and collected garbage. The budget for the institution grew astronomically.
On a number of occasions, Musisi took it upon herself to fight political battles on behalf of her appointing authority, the President. In Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, she found a ready protagonist, and so a lot of time was spent in fighting wars.
Musisi in many cases prevented the elected leadership led by Lukwago from querying her leadership of the technical wing, and when Lukwago became recalcitrant, an impeachment process was engineered against him, and he was booted out of office in 2013.
Even when court ordered his return to office, the powers at KCCA and beyond ensured that he didn’t. He remained mayor by title for the rest of his term.
When Lukwago made his re-entry into KCCA through winning again in 2016, he demanded that his salary arrears for the period he was illegally kept out of office be paid. The leadership at KCCA and beyond ignored him. Court recently ordered that he be paid more than Shs500m in salary arrears.
KCCA has another bill, running into dozens of billions, to pay, because hundreds of former workers of the old KCC were irregularly thrown out of work when KCCA started. They were lumped together and accused of being corrupt, and were thrown out of jobs without due process. They sued. The former workers were replaced by hand-picked employees, many of whom are now scared as they face possibilities of losing their jobs.
At the top leadership level, Saturday Monitor reported that Musisi has no substantive replacement as executive director. There is also no substantive deputy executive director, and five out of 10 directors are also working in acting capacity. The President has not appointed people to fill these positions, and some have acted for two years.
The government must decide what it wants to do with KCCA and do it quickly. The institution cannot be allowed to sink deeper into rot.