Erias Lukwago, the mayor of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, has spoken out on the drama that ensued at City Hall after councillors exchanged blows over a stalemate between him and city minister Beti Kamya over the KCCA Amendment Bill 2015.
The amendment bill aims at clipping Lukwago’s powers by making the office of the lord mayor ceremonial.
On Monday, a meeting to discuss the amendment was called off after KCCA urban division councillors and authority councillors accused each other of betrayal and turned the argument physical, trading punches.
They were later restrained by police officers. Division councillors accused authority councillors of incompetence.
According to Lukwago, “the confusion was orchestrated by Minister Kamya and some councillors”.
He claims that “some councillors from division councils had been hired to interrupt the meeting” because “they kept heckling and it was very hard for me to conduct the meeting”.
The lord mayor has since adjourned the meeting to Thursday.
He also claims that he had “got information from sympathisers”, adding that “there is no doubt that the chaos was organised by Minister Kamya”.
Part of the information the lord mayor got suggests that “Minister Kamya had held a meeting with some members and urban division councillors”.
Minister Kamya did not attend but the Kampala junior minister Benny Namugwanya attended. Lukwago claims he had invited the minister, a former opposition figure now serving in the government of Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s three-decade president.
Lukwago accuses Namugwanya of exciting councillors with promises of salary increment.
It also happened, Lukwago claims, that Minister Namugwanya out of the blue promised to increase salaries for division urban councillors and KCCA councillors.
The Tower Post could not independently verify Lukwago’s claims.