The Kampala Capital City Authority- KCCA Speaker’s race has split Forum for Democratic Change-FDC councilors. The amended KCCA act, establishes the position of Speaker and Deputy Speaker both at KCCA and the five divisions of Kampala.
The speakers will be responsible for chairing council sittings. Preparations for the election of the speaker and deputy speaker started in December 2019 when President Yoweri Museveni assented to the Act. The 18 FDC councilors, who are the majority at KCCA, conducted several meetings to agree on their party candidate.
On December 14, 2019, the FDC party top leadership met with councilors and advised them to reach consensus after the Lubaga North Councilor, Abubaker Kawalya and Makerere University Councilor, Doreen Nyanjura expressed interest in the speaker’s seat.
On December 17, the FDC caucus sat at City Hall. The councilors asked the two aspirants to have a side discussion and reach consensus. However, this didn’t yield results prompting the caucus to vote on the matter. Thirteen of the 18 FDC councilors agreed to vote while five rejected the idea altogether.
According to the caucus report signed by the Chairperson, Farida Nakabugo, the election was conducted and Kawalya emerged winner with ten votes. Nyanjura didn’t garner any vote since some members declined to vote.
Nyanjura explains that she declined to participate in the election on grounds that the caucus has no mandate to conduct an election. The FDC President, Patrick Amuriat, says the party leadership intervened after the councilors failed to agree.
In January 2020, FDC started a new process with guidance from the National Executive Committee-NEC. The FDC Electoral Commission Boss, Boniface Toterebuka asked those interested in the position of speaker and deputy speaker to fill forms expressing interest, which both Nyanjura and Kawalya did.
NEC would nominate, vet and conduct primaries. However during nominations on Thursday last week, only Nyanjura turned up. Kawalya didn’t show up, saying they had earlier been told it was councilors to vote but this was no longer the case.
Toterekuba told URN that NEC had met and decided that NEC would be the one to decide on the candidates, something that Kawalya says is unfair and intended to sideline him.
The FDC General Secretary, Nathan Nandala Mafabi says although Caucus have been deciding on candidates at the local government level, the same cannot be done for KCCA since it is a new law and calls for a new approach.
The FDC constitution mandates caucused at the local government level to advance party interests. Even at KCCA the caucus has previously conducted primaries to get representatives for steering committees, which the councilors say should have been the case this time around. However, Nandala says local government councils are guided by the Local Government Act while KCCA has its own Act.
Nandala says councilors are expected to respect the party position, saying the one who votes to the contrary will cease being a member. He says members of FDC are the property of the party and are expected to respect decisions of party organs.
Councilors like Nyanjura, Moses Mugisha Okwera of Nakawa 1 and Makindye West’s, Doreen Sabuka are in support of the NEC process, saying it was well guided and should be respected. Others in support are Kennedy Okello from Nakawa two and Olive Nazzi, the Kyambogo University Woman councilor.
However, Kawalya says he will defy the party line and stand for the speaker’s position. He accuses the FDC top leadership of abusing the party constitution and working against him because he is allied to the people power pressure group.