Erias Lukwago, the Kampala Lord Mayor has rushed to court and filed an application seeking court orders restraining Kampala Minister Beti Kamya from issuing directives while purporting to act as political head of Kampala.
The duo is fighting for power to control the city authority. Lukwago’s application was filed in the High Court civil division on Monday.
The development follows a January 25letter from Beti Kamya to Lukwago that left tongues wagging when she purported that council meetings under the chairmanship of the Lord Mayor were null and void. The meetings that Kamya referred to are "resumed meeting(s)," which are a continuation of previous authority meeting(s).
She wrote that; "Resumed meetings are not provided for in the Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Act. The only category of the meeting provided for is ordinary and special meetings. Any scheduled meeting can only be referred to or called in accordance with the KCCA Act…therefore any meeting called outside the provision of the law is null and void."
This brought war at the city hall as KCCA technocrats attempted to walk out of the meeting only to be stopped by angry councilors who held them hostage for over an hour. Ever since the scandal happened, subsequent formal meetings between the political and technical wing have not lured the latter to return to the meeting. As a result, two council meetings have been cancelled due to the absence of technical wing officials.
Now, in his application, Lukwago seeks "an order quashing the decision of the Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority" contained in the January 23rd letter regarding the legality of authority meetings.
Lukwago further seeks "an order of prohibition restraining, stopping and preventing the Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority from passing off or purporting to act as the political head of Kampala.”
He is also seeking the court to declare that the practice of subjecting his official travels to ministerial permit "as irrational, unreasonable, illegal, preposterous and constitutes as an egregious infringement and abuse of the applicant's rights and freedoms."
Last week, the minister blocked Lukwago from attending a World Bank conference in Malaysia where he had been invited by the World Bank to attend the ninth session of the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, from February 7 to February 13.
Kamya instead gave the trip to Kawempe Division mayor Emmanuel Sserunjogi to represent Lukwago. The World Bank sent Lukwago a visa and an air ticket, and KCCA was supposed to provide up to USD 1,800 (6.5 million Shillings) for his accommodation and per diem.