Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Occupants of the offices created under the Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Amendment Act 2020 haven’t been paid for the nine months they have been in office. They include KCCA Speakers, their Deputies, and executive committee members both at the Authority and the five Divisions of Kampala. Support staff like Personal Assistants have also not been paid since they got their jobs.
The office of the Speaker, deputy and Executive Committees were created under the KCCA Amendment Act 2020. The Speaker and Deputy are elected from councilors at the Authority and divisions respectively. The five-member Executive Committees consist of the Mayor, the deputy mayor, and three members appointed by the Lord Mayor and Division Mayors respectively.
When the offices where operationalized earlier this year, KCCA planned to spend more than Shillings 2 billion on salaries. The Authority Speaker would carry home a monthly paycheque of Shillings 13.8 million, which amounts to Shillings 165.7 million annually.
The deputy speaker would earn Shillings 11 million monthly amounting to Shillings 132. 5 million annually. Each of the three executive secretaries at the Authority would also pocket Shillings 11 million making it about Shillings 135.5 million annually for each member.
Division Speakers would earn Shillings 9.8 million a month. KCCA planned to spend Shillings 590.4 million annually on the remuneration of the Speakers of the five divisions. Their deputies and the three urban executive secretaries for each of the five divisions would earn Shillings 7.5 million monthly and hence about Shillings 90 million annually.
However, to date, the officials and their support staff haven’t been paid. The KCCA Speaker Abubakar Kawalya declined to comment on the matter and only said his focus was on service delivery to the people of Kampala and not money. Several officials who preferred anonymity confirmed they haven’t received a salary since taking office.
The Lord Mayor, Erias Kukwago has previously raised the issue with the political wing in vain. The Authority spokesperson, Daniel NuweAbine, says the matter shall be discussed before cabinet. There is a debate on whether all the officials should be paid. In a November 9th 2020 letter, addressed to the KCCA Executive Director, the Solicitor General, Christopher Gashirabake, says the executive committee members don’t qualify for remuneration.
He opines that while the office of the speakers as provided for under section 8A of the Amended Act and that of their deputies under section 29A can be categorized as new political offices, executive committees at the Authority and the five division are not new offices for purposes of remuneration “because these are councilors appointed to the executive Committee and Division Committee to discharge additional duties of the Council on those Committees”.
Adding that “for remuneration purposes, they are already catered for under section 77 of the KCCA Act , 2010 which gives the Minister responsible for the Capital City in consultation with the Minister responsible for finance and the Minister for Public Service the mandate to determine the remuneration of councilors of the authority and those lower urban council”
Gashirabake says since the section refers to specific offices, it would require an amendment of the law before the same section is used to determine remuneration for the executive committees. He says the executive committee members can be remunerated as councilors.