KCCA Executive Director on Spot Over Road Contracts

Dorothy Kisaka, the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA is under pressure from the political wing to take the contracts for the implementation of civil works under the Kampala City Roads Rehabilitation Project-KCRRP worth Shillings 1.06 trillion.

The government secured the money as a loan from the African Development Bank for the construction of roads and drainage channels in Kampala and work is expected to start this month. However, the allocation of the money has led to a sharp rift between the political and technical wings. The political wing accuses the technical team of the authority of inflating the costs of the projects.

A report by the KCCA Central Executive Committee (CEC) shows that the technical team budgeted Shillings 15.4 billion for the construction of each kilometer of road under the project, which the political wing says is very high compared to the average in the region.

During the special council sitting on Wednesday to scrutinize the implementation of the project presided over by the author speaker Zahara Luyilika,  the councilors tasked Kisaka who led a team of more than five directors to avail them with the contracts related to the project. 

This was the third special meeting convened over the same matter. The first meeting was turned into a committee of the whole house, from which the executive director was asked to present the contracts and name the contractors as directed in the last meeting.

However, Kisaka neither presented the contracts nor the contractor as expected. She told the committee that she didn’t invite the contractors because they were not under her mandate. “I could not invite the individual contractors because they are not under my supervision, therefore I don’t have the powers to summon them here. However, the council can summon them,” she said.  

And on the contracts, Kisaka said that she was still awaiting guidance from the solicitor general. “About presenting the contracts to the council asked, I wrote to the solicitor general seeking guidance on whether I should disclose these documents since am new in office and the lord mayor says he has never seen any such documents for the last 11 years, so am asking myself why?” she said.

The KCCA Legal Director, Caleb Mugisha, said that contracts contain private information, whose disclosure might be prejudicial to the contracts, and contravene the right to privacy. His explanations sparked uproar in the meeting, with councilors citing various laws, which mandate the council powers to access such documents, as enablers to its oversight role as mandated by the KCCA act.   

Male Kenneth, one of the councilors was on several occasions called to order by the chairperson as he had started verbal confrontations with the technical team, saying they were turning them into fools, yet they know what exactly to do.

The committee passed three recommendations, including one that the executive director presents the names and contacts of the contractors to the speaker by the close of business. The meeting also recommended that the executive director presents the contracts to the council in the next sitting after removing any information that the technical team deems private to the contractors.  

The other recommendation was that the executive director should come with the contractors in the next council meeting over this matter, which is scheduled for March 9th, 2023.  Zahara  Luyilika, the KCCA Speaker, says that as the council they will not give up on demanding accountability from the technical team because this falls within their mandate as the elected leaders of the city as well as the supreme body governing the authority.    

According to Luyilika, the technical team is answerable to the council, and as leaders, they need to know what is behind the curtains in regard to these contracts such that they can effectively monitor the projects on behalf of their voters.

The City Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, who also attended the meeting, said that the technical team has no legal backing whatsoever to deny the political team access to such documents, and what they are doing now is illegal. Lukwago adds that the lord mayor is the vision bearer of the authority and the chief overseer of the technical team activities. 

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