Kampala Is Making Headway [opinion]

The said article does not only contain falsehoods but appears to be intended to mislead the public and malign the management of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). We would like to clarify a number of issues that the Hon Member of Parliament raised in his article.

The Kampala Physical Development Plan was approved by the National Physical Planning Board in April 2013. The same can be viewed on the KCCA website (kcca.go.ug) as well as from the National Physical Planning Board. Those who are interested in an organised and well-managed Kampala should be grateful for the noble actions of the city authority.

KCCA’s endeavour to reconstruct Jinja road should be commended and encouraged. The traffic management plan for Jinja road presently does not allow for a narrow road, given the volume and heavy traffic on the route. Hon Ssemujju, who plies that route to his constituency, should have noticed this. But he has chosen to trivialise his commentary further by dwelling on flowers that are transplantable.

Without trivialising the matter of the alleged huge KCCA wage bill as contrasted with the Wakiso district budget, and the role that the administrative staffs play in both areas, the status of Kampala and its history cannot be discounted. We witnessed the greatest failure of city administration for the last four decades.

It is now a given that the current management of KCCA is more responsive, proactive and efficient in service delivery. This is a product of a sustained campaign by this government to have Kampala city reflective of what a capital city should look like. It is not the issue of the geographical size of Kampala that should determine its huge chunk of the budget but the drivers of development and other activities.

Kampala city’s resident population is estimated at 1.9 million people while transient population is pegged at 2.5 million. The city contributes 60 per cent to GDP and 80 per cent of the industrial establishments in the country are found here. In addition to being the face of Uganda, the state of Kampala determines investment decisions.

The contract for Pioneer Easy Bus was negotiated by Kampala City Council (KCC) but was not concluded. The matter is, however, being handled in an inter-ministerial effort aimed at finding a lasting solution to the public bus transport system in Kampala and the metropolitan area.

It is important to distinguish between the Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority and Physical Planning Committee. Sometime in 2013, the minister for Presidency and Kampala issued a statement on the floor of the 9th Parliament. He clarified why he cleared the appointment of a Physical Planning Committee as opposed to having a Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority in place.

Some of the reasons included the absence of a budget for the MPPA, which is supposed to plan for Kampala and the districts of Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso the absence of any legal provision on the secretariat of the MPPA and the manner of appointment of staff of the MPPA.

The Physical Planning Act, 2010, provides for a forum called the physical planning committee in every district or urban authority. This is what the minister recommended should be established for purposes of approving plans for development. On the appointment of the public accounts committee, the minutes of the authority meeting are in draft form and, therefore, not legally binding.

KCCA shall restrain from commenting on Hon Ssemujju’s comments on the Court of Appeal, in particular the Hon Justice Stephen Kavuma, and now the Supreme court. We shall leave that to the spokesperson for the Judiciary.

The author is the KCCA spokesman.

Source : The Observer

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