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Ssekabanja speaks out on Kawempe fights

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th September 2008 03:00 AM

KAWEMPE Division, for the past year, has seen councillors and the executive led by Nasser Takuba embroiled in wrangles. The resident district commissioner (RDC) Kawempe Edward Ssekabanja, has tried to restore order although he has been accused of supporting one side. Joshua Kato talked to Sse

KAWEMPE Division, for the past year, has seen councillors and the executive led by Nasser Takuba embroiled in wrangles. The resident district commissioner (RDC) Kawempe Edward Ssekabanja, has tried to restore order although he has been accused of supporting one side. Joshua Kato talked to Sse

KAWEMPE Division, for the past year, has seen councillors and the executive led by Nasser Takuba embroiled in wrangles. The resident district commissioner (RDC) Kawempe Edward Ssekabanja, has tried to restore order although he has been accused of supporting one side. The division has over 0.4m people, but it is affected by floods, insecurity and poor roads. Joshua Kato talked to Ssekabanja on the way forward:

When did you come to Kawempe?
I was posted here in October 2007. Before that, I was the RDC for Makindye division.

What have you achieved so far?

Very little. This is because the local leaders have been engaged in vicious wrangles. This is not a fight between members of different political groups, but between Democratic Party members. That is, between the chairman, Nasser Takuba, and a number of councillors fighting over power.

How about the fight between the chairman and the town clerk?

Yes, the chairman wanted money for his office from the town clerk, Abner Besigye. They also conflicted over the control of markets. Apparently, the chairman wanted a certain market to be controlled by the division, but the town clerk refused saying the action was illegal. Then one day, the chairman closed the town clerk’s offices locking the him inside. I had to open the office to free the town clerk. There is a court case over this matter.

How was the speaker removed?

It was discovered that he had two jobs, one as a speaker and the other at Makerere University. Local government rules forbid councillors from being in the civil service. He resigned his post as the speaker.

Why did the division leaders almost punch each other during the speaker’s elections?

The Kampala City town clerk, Ruth Kijjambu came to hold the elections when the speaker resigned. However, the chairman did not want the elections to take place. Thus there was an exchange of sharp words between the chairman and Kijjambu.
I had to get security for the elections and at one time, I was acting as the speaker. The elections were held. The chairman does not recognise the new speaker. There is also a court case over this matter.

Who oversees Kawempe when everyone is engaged in wrangles?

The council has not sat for a long time. For example, this year’s budget was almost not passed because the quorum could not be raised. I have not seen any development; say in form of infrastructure construction in the division. Garbage heaps have become mountains. Everything is in shambles.

The division is collecting revenue, who accounts for the funds?

That is my worry. There are contracted companies collecting fees from markets and trading licence fees.
Such groups include Mirembe Enterprises. I doubt whether that money goes to the council and is accounted for.

How are MPs, Latif Ssebagala (Kawempe North) and Ssebuliba Mutumba (South) solving the wrangles?
During my tenure, I have never seen them in any of the council meetings.
I hear they have their own dissatisfactions with the division leadership and that is why they do not attend council meetings.

What is the way
forward?

I think the President must intervene; otherwise we are headed for disaster.

Ssekabanja speaks out on Kawempe fights

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