Kampala Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago is the most happiest with the news of the resignation of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) executive director, Jennifer Musisi Ssemakula.
In a 21-page letter dated October 15, 2018, Musisi said she will cease being executive director of KCCA effective December 15, 2018. Ms Musisi who has been at the helm of the Authority for about seven years on Monday wrote to President Museveni indicating her intention to resign.
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Addressing a press conference at his office at City Hall in Kampala today, Lukwago said Musisi was disrespectful, obsessed with power and worked with a lot of impunity. Lukwago said in fact Musisi had already resigned from KCCA after absconding from duty and going without leave (AWOL) since 2016.
“Am glad that what we prophesied has come to pass because I cannot hide my excitement. I cannot. It’s a very exciting moment for me. Since last night when I received this news, indeed I couldn’t even sleep because of excitement. Why? Because we have had a rollercoaster life here because of nothing else, but impunity, impunity perpetuated by one person here Madam Jennifer Semakula Musisi. I will not miss you Madam Jennifer Semakula. Good riddance.” Lukwago bluntly said.
Lukwago, also accused Musisi of continually being unaccountable and disrespectful to no one but the appointing authority. Lukwago said in essence, Musisi has been earning her humungous salary for the last two years without necessarily doing any work.
“In fact, she has been cheating members of the public. Jennifer has not been working since 2016, Jennifer resigned literally. She last attended the authority meeting – the record I have…the last one was on 27th February 2017. Which institution can have such an accounting officer who has no respect for the authority meeting for the meeting of the supreme making body of the institution?” added Lukwago.
He says Musisi was an opportunist who appeared to be hard working when KCCA hosted high profile individuals, adding that her resignation was long overdue. However he adds that prior to her departure, Musisi must account for the time she has spent in office.
“We’re going to work out modalities of handling all accountability issues. It’s not a matter of throwing in the towel and running away. No way, no way. She will have to first account before she goes. I know under the law we can follow her even when she has gone away but within these two months, we must work out modalities of handling all the reports.” said Lukwago.
Lukwago says his council shall conduct a meeting on Thursday in which they expect Musisi to give a detailed account from her office. He says Musisi promised so much in the KCCA Strategic Development Plan that she did not implement. Meanwhile, some KCCA councillors have said that Musisi should not blame politics as one of the reasons for her resignation.
Makerere University councillor, Doreen Nyanjura argued that Musisi and the technical team she leads, had for long ignored advice of the political wing. If it is political interference that caused the resignation, Nyanjura argued that it could be from President Museveni himself.
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“When Musisi talks of political interference, the people think of counsellors and the lord mayor but I think it is bigger than that. It is a very long time, I don’t think the counsellors and the lord mayor have been the stumbling block because the technical team always ignores the advice of the counsellors and the lord mayor. For me, when she talks of political interference, I think she’s talking about the appointing master. Several times Museveni has come in to interfere in her work for example when Museveni said taxi drivers should stop paying taxes, when he said market vendors should stop paying market dues. Me I believe it’s more than that meets the eye.” said Nyanjura.
Nakawa councillor Kennedy Okello argued that Musisi had in fact resigned in spirit in 2016 when Museveni solely blamed her for the NRM party loss in Kampala in the 2016 elections.
“Who is the current Musisi who is now resigning? Her morale was low, she was never there in the institution, she doesn’t attend meetings, she was basically travelling. So in spirit she’d already resigned that is for a fact, she has now just formalised her resignation. For example, for two years she has not attended any Authority meeting yet the Authority is the highest organ of this organisation. The Authority meeting is almost equivalent to the board meeting of the Authority which she has not attended as a person.” said Okello.
Okello also argued that citing political interference as the cause of resignation is vague. Unlike other government authorities and agencies, Okello said Musisi knew that there would be political interference because KCCA is supervised by politicians. He said KCCA technocrats are aware that there’s a board of politicians.
“KCCA is an Authority like any other Authority like NFA, UCC and all these authorities. All the Authorities if you look at the board, their board is constituted of technocrats and such kinds of people. However for us, KCCA as we know it, the board is constituted of politicians – the lord mayor and the counsellors. So it’s inherently political. So you don’t expect to operate without the interference of politicians because the board is constituted of politicians. KCCA is avery unique Authority, it is not like any other Authority – URA and the rest” said Okello.
Kyambogo University councillor Byaruhanga Bruhani, says that since there have been many political actors interfering in the operations of the KCCA technical wing, the Authority which is made up of councillors can’t be solely blamed for Musisi’s resignation.
However, the councillors also applauded Musisi for transforming the city in the years that she has been at the helm. Nyanjura said during Musisi’s tenure, nearly everything has improved. She equally praised Musisi for resigning instead of waiting to be sacked.