Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has accused President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni of usurping his powers and of rendering him useless in the administration of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) public markets.
Days ago, Museveni ordered that the administration of markets be returned to government, disbanding committees that have been in place. But Lukwago, who is also the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Vice President for Central Uganda, says that Museveni acted illegally by ordering the government takeover of markets.
He argues that the law does not provide for presidential directives as a way of resolving city market issues and restoring trade order.
“In the current legal regime governing markets, an individual is not allowed to establish and manage a market. The colonialists felt that markets should be established, controlled and managed by municipal authorities, and that has been the position of the law since 1942,” Lukwago told NBS Morning Breeze.
“Matters that would be discussed by KCCA are being discussed by Mr. Museveni in State House. Mr. Museveni has turned himself into the mayor of the city, literally. Mr. Museveni is managing markets and all affairs of the city by way of a presidential directive which is wrong. Where is a presidential directive provided for in our legal framework?”
The Kampala Lord Mayor went on to allege that Museveni has installed his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) cadres into public market administration structures. He warned that the KCCA (and government) takeover of management of the markets will breed more confusion and chaos in the city.
“Where Mr. Museveni goes wrong is not having a clear legal framework and getting NRM cadres to install them in markets. Not even a single market in Kampala is governed by leadership put in place by vendors,” he said. “I am afraid the market vendors have to live with this issue. It is going to be a mess, and total confusion.”
He also argued that there should be shared responsibility in the management of markets where by KCCA does not have all the powers, but rather a situation where the vendors are provided a platform of genuine authority, power and mandate to choose those who should lead them.
The Capital City boss further complained that Gen Museveni thinks he is non-existent and useless and does not even copy him in his communications. Lukwago thinks that the president believes he [Museveni] is the Lord Mayor.
“The problem of markets starts with Mr. Museveni. This problem doesn’t come out of the blue. You ask yourself, should it be a presidential directive to fix market dues? Look at all the letters Mr. Museveni has written. He doesn’t even have the courtesy to copy me in. According to him, there is no Lord Mayor in the city. Is KCCA in control?” he asked, before begging MPs, policymakers, leaders and all stakeholders “to pay attention to the issue of trade order. Have a glimpse of what is there.”
It should be remembered that a few days ago, Museveni issued 15 directives on the management of Kampala Capital City markets. (See Details Here).