A ROW has emerged between the Kampala City mayor John Ssebaana Kizito and the Kampala Pentecostal Church over the opening of a lane linking Bombo Road to Buganda Road. The mayor argues the road is just being re-opened after it was blocked by KPC over a decade ago.
KPC for its part says the mayor is using his position and public funds to create a road for personal gain. The lane lies between the KPC and Ssebaanaâ€™s Sure House.
On KPCâ€™s request, the Inspector General of Government (IGG) has ordered Ssebaana to stop any further development until his investigations are over. Ssebaana has decided to defy the IGGâ€™s Office, which he accuses of being unnecessarily disruptive since it is not the planning office for the city. He also says KPC is operating illegally in a place gazetted to be a cinema hall.
We want to raise two concerns here. The first concerns the attitude of the mayor toward the Office of the IGG. Whereas Ssebaana might be right in that KCC is just re-opening a road that used to exist, he cannot just brush off accusations that the road is meant to benefit his adjacent Sure House development.
This raises issues of conflict of interest and it is the reason KPC went to the IGG for intervention.
The IGG is mandated to monitor governance in all public offices. The mayor should be exemplary and respect the other lawful institutions like the IGGâ€™s Office.
Secondly, to remind the church at this time that it has been operating illegally for over 10 years, might amount to intimidation by the KCC and the Mayor. Let the IGG probe and sort out the rest later.