AT LOGGER HEADS: MP Betty Nambooze and Kampala minister Betty Olive Namisango Kamyaality Member of Parliament Betty Nambooze Bakireke, has once again come out to accuse Minister for Kampala Beti Olive Namisango Kamya, of trying to hoodwink Ugandans with a project allegedly aimed at developing Kampala, but ‘in actual sense’ seeks to grab people’s land as well as disenfranchise people from choosing their leaders.
Nambooze argues that the Minister’s proposed amendments to the already controversial KCCA Act seeks to expand government’s control over the affairs of other local governments ie.
Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi. This, she says will not only give excessive power and influence to the government, it will usurp people’s power over other administrative and legislative structures in the proposed Greater Kampala Metropolitan Authority.
Nambooze and other opposition leaders have argued that the proposed move contravenes the constitution which provides that power belongs to the people who must be chosen through free, fair and regular elections.
Nambooze says that the bill seeks to give even more power to the president through the minister, by removing the power of the people to choose their leaders and replace them with political appointees.
According to MP Nambooze, government through minister Kampala is popularising a project which is different from what it actually intends to bring.
“Unfortunately, what they say is not what they are doing. They are disguising their intentions as ones to coordinate development between Kampala and the neighbouring districts of Mukono, Wakiso and Mpigi as provided for under section 21 of the KCCA act.
However, when you read the amendment bill of 2015 and Betty Kamya’s amendments to the amendments of Frank Tumwebaze, there are eleven new clauses which talk about the greater Kampala metropolitan authority. What the principal law proposed for, was the greater Kampala physical metropolitan authority”, Nambooze said in an exclusive interview with the sunrise.
She added that the two entities are different with one targeting physical planning and the other aiming at creating a governance structure equivalent to a ‘local council six’, housing the districts of Kampala Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso.
While appearing on CBS Radio’s Saturday Talk Show Parliament Yammwe, Kampala Lord Mayor Hajj Alias Lukwago revealed that the government is hiding behind the law to target a huge loan that has been proposed by the World Bank aimed at stimulating employment and businesses in the greater Kampala areas of Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi.
According to the proposed project, the four urban areas known as Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area will be linked to development projects that would include infrastructure projects, business support environment, tourism and service delivery.
However, Nambooze insists that the said projects are intended to sugarcoat government’s “ugly” intentions to take over governance of urban areas.
“Whereas the first law provided for a body of experts that proposed projects related to physical planning, the new structure is talking about governance.
And whereas the first proposal was to incorporate all the entire districts of Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi, the new structure is taking parts of those three districts and goes up to Bombo town council, yet Luweero district has never been part of the greater Kampala Metropolitan,” she said.
She further argues that the first body for physical planning was to strictly comprise experts whose cardinal role was to help in coordination, and making proposals basing on different development plans of the different urban areas in the metropolitan districts, instead of granting authority to government through the authority as a secretariat to run the day to day activities as contained in the new proposal.
When asked whether all stakeholders were involved in the new project, Nambooze denied having been involved at any stage. She however said that a few local council and division leaders from Mukono, Kira, Entebbe were invited and fed on “half information”. She adds that the leaders did not analyse the information they were given and that they deny consenting to some of the provisions in the proposal, when read to them.
The Mukono legislator further claimed that Minister Beti Kamya herself is not versed with all provisions in the proposal she is bringing on table and popularising.
“It is even interesting that minister Beti Kamya seems to be ignorant of the very project she is championing. When you tell her things which are right in her document, she denies them. Like she was saying that we have nothing whatsoever ever to do with people’s land, when I read her page 23 and 24 of her own document, it was talking about taking over people’s land,” she said.
She further claimed that the foundation on which government lacks the legal basis upon which to implement the proposed changes.
Nambooze further expressed alarm at what government has termed as taking over underdeveloped land in the jurisdiction.
She says that contrary to the proposal that government can be empowered to take over unoccupied land, there is no land anywhere in Uganda that is not occupied.
On whether she is convinced that she and other leaders who don’t support the proposal will succeed in stopping government from effecting the changes, Nambooze said that only force can help government succeed but not reason.
Kampala central MP Muhammad Nsereko, has already vowed to table a motion seeking Parliament intervention to block the Minister from progressing with the dubious bill.
“I can’t just watch these few people planning to grab people’s land, hood winking them that they are creating jobs. Parliament has to intervene,” Nsereko said recently.
Despite his position as Minister without Portfolio, Luwero’s former Chairman Hajj Abdul Nadduli has abandoned the principle of collective responsibility and opposed the proposed Kampala expansion which also seeks to expand up to his backyard.
While addressing journalists in Kampala this week, Nadduli described the proposal as one which abrogates the Constitution and that there is need for wider consultations with various stakeholders such as the Buganda Lukiiko, Cabinet and Parliament among others on the matter before such plans can be executed.