Even if you are a big lover of the opposition or happen to have been one of the over 200 voters who gave Erias Lukwago a vote which enabled him to shoot to the Lord Mayorship seat, believe it or not, by the time his impeachment came, he was more of a liability than an asset to KCCA and the people who use the services of Kampala city, unfortunately, his defenders could not help him see this problem, which is the reason he was accused of incompetence.
Why do I say this?
Hon. Lukwago is on record to have defended the taxi drivers to pay shs 75,000 instead of shs 120,000 the authority agreed to, after reducing from shs 150,000. This role did not see him openly oppose the institution he claims he leads, but he went as far as supporting the legal action taken by the likes of Mayambala’s to sue KCCA, where the court came up openly stopping KCCA from collecting what was termed illegal fees. Surely, however much love one has for Lukwago, this action was enough to see him replaced. I recall my experience Monday, 31st March 2014, when I got into a taxi to Kampala from Kajjansi which is 8 miles away. The taxi took a whole one hour and twenty minutes to arrive at the Old Taxi park. The only way such problems can be solved is to get a team which works as a group. The situation Kampala got to prior to the impeachment of Lukwago was such that the working climate had completely broken down. Investors continue to complain of the much time they have to spend to cross from one part of Kampala to another and this cannot be solved when the council is in disharmony and, the only man who created this is the Lord Mayor!
There has been a struggle to get the vendors off Kampala streets and many users of Kampala are happy that the environment created after is that which is safe and the city slowly taking shape from a slum. It is absurd that the Lord Mayor came up openly to oppose this order! Surely, the city gets more than 5 times its day population from outside, how can a leader come out openly opposing sanity and order. This is the force behind what we see as Lukwago’s popularity. The question is: “If everyone who wants to do business is left to do as he/she wishes, what would Kampala City become? This is a matter of common sense. Why couldn’t Lukwago instead get to strategies to see where these people could shift to in an orderly manner instead of joining hands with them to blame KCCA and Ms Musisi in particular. In this role, Lukwago showed his incompetence as Lord Mayor as he was source of the friction in the authority.
The evolution of USAFI market came as a solution to see where the evicted street vendors could go. Lukwago was again the first person to make the development unpopular, though he came up with no sound substitute to harmony in the city!
Over Lukwago’s problems, it is illogical to blame President Museveni. The President never put there a situation which made Lukwago to put the Authority to a stand still. This blame is seeing the problem in the wrong lenses. It may be true that the President may be helping to sort the stand still.
People are by nature big headed. KCCA has had battles with hawkers and it has been fashionable to confiscate the goods of those found hawkering. His Lordship Lukwago has been opposed to the policy and openly discredited the institution he alleges to lead! A person in Lukwago’s shoes would instead talk to all who do hawkering on the streets and advise them to go to gazette places. This is the Lord Mayor.
Mr. Lukwago did not stop there, but publically accused Ms Musisi over the funds found in KCC’s various accounts at the time of transition. Surely, this put Musisi in disrepute, yet there were avenues Lukwago should have used to address the matter instead of acting childishly to give the impression that Musisi actually embezzled the money.
Having said the above, I once again wish to make an appeal to Hon. Lukwago to stop acting childishly. It may do more harm than good. The situation is that what he would have done earlier, he failed to do it, and in so doing, the hurdles a head as he tries to bring disharmony may not pay dividends. The advice is that he settles and makes a new start. May be, when God grants him life, he could contest the position when he is more mature to act with good judgment not be a dis-service to the authority he is a co-head.