Kamya has triumphantly walked out of the office for Minister for Kampala being praised as a hard-working person.
A bad beginning makes a great ending, so goes an English proverb. This has been the case for Beti Kamya, the outgoing Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan affairs. Her appointment attracted a lot of apprehension among the staff of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Office of the President.
Three and a half years later, Kamya has triumphantly walked out of the office for Minister for Kampala being praised as a hard-working person and a great collaborator who has worked with many government agencies as well as opposition politicians. She walked away with gifts from KCCA and Hajji Yunus Kakande, Secretary Office of the President.
Prior to the hand of gifts, Kamya said, “I did not know that there was a lot of apprehension following me or moving ahead of me.”
Kamya added, “I am happy that I have been liberated from that image. I was laughing when Kakande was sharing his experience and the apprehension. I have been mellowed by age but I can bite.”
She was speaking on Wednesday at the Office of the President boardroom in Kampala during handover ceremony to Betty Amongi who is the new Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan affairs.
Kakande said that she had perceived Kamya as a firebrand opposition politician in Parliament. He wondered how they would cope with Kamya.
KCCA has over the years been led by strong women who have made great milestones in Kampala City.
Kamya was thankful to President Yoweri Museveni for renewing her tenure of service and that of Betty Amongi who she referred to as a friend and a colleague. Kamya and Amongi are namesakes and also served as opposition politicians in Parliament before they crossed to Government. They vehemently criticized during the last decade.
Kamya described Amongi as hardworking, and a no-nonsense person who should not be mistaken for weakness.
Amongi in her speech said, she is deliberately willing to engage with the team of KCCA and the people, consult them at all times and most importantly listen when they advise her or say “NO” because her role is to work with the people in order to thrive.
Stakeholders in the city are key publics in the decisions made, therefore she will seek ideas on how to serve them, and it is also mandatory for the people who live in the city to respect the law, to be educated on their roles and responsibilities to make the work easier.
She’s appreciative of how the economy has expanded in the city and that it has become attractive to tourists from neighbouring Rwanda and Kenya as well as other countries to camp in the city for fanfares.
Amongi to work with Lukwago
On the relationship with the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Amongi said that after seeing the strategic plan, the master plan and his end of the year press release, she agrees with Lukwago on principle.
“I agreed with him that we must make the city move forward in as far as development is concerned therefore, I am coming with an open hand to work with him, mayors of the divisions, councils and all other leaders in Kampala in the context of development,” she said.
Amongi however also appealed to him not to mix government duties with politics if the city should move on. “I know that it is a political year the lord mayor my want to play his politics but I want him to put development at the forefront. I will work with him but he can play his politics outside the work of government and there we are going to move smoothly,” she added.
She empathized that she will try her best to reach out to the people in the city because they are the ones who elect the political leaders.
Father Simon Lokodo thanked Kamya for implementation of activities in the short period she has left a legacy for Amongi to follow. He said that Kamya was ordained by God to lead as Amongi has been ordained too.
He said Amongi has worked beyond expectations as she has prevailed over conflicts over land and that titles in wetlands were being cancelled as well as encroachers leaving in wetlands.
Kamya’s achievements included works on the Kampala Greater Master Plan, Implementing of the Second Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project (KIIDP 2), Funding from the UK funded projects on the roads, construction of Kasubi and Busega market.
The master plan indicates plans for tarmacking all the interior roads within Greater Kampala, constructing flyovers, establishing light railway networks, constructing express ways, ring roads, beautifying and installing walkways, street lighting, repairing and expanding existing roads.