On Monday Morning, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) councilors met at city Hall, the authority’s headquarters and voted to impeach Kampala’s city’s embattled Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago who did not attend the proceedings as he is reportedly sick.
The drama-filled council session was chaired by Kampala minister Frank Tumwebaze.
By show of hands, at least 29 councillors voted to impeach Lukwago, while three voted against the move. The three who voted in favour of Lukwago include Shifra Lukwago, Sulaiman Kidandala and Idah Nakuya.
Below is his full communication to the meeting;
MINISTER’S COMMUNICATION TO THE MEETING OF THE AUTHORITY CONVENED ON 25TH NOVEMBER 2013
Your Worship, the Lord Mayor or the Legal Representative present,
The Honorable Lord Councilors of the Kampala Capital City Authority and all of you invited guests.
I take the opportunity this morning to welcome you all to this special meeting. As you may all know I received a report from the Tribunal, which I had set up months back to investigate the allegations against the Lord Mayor of Kampala Capital City Authority on Thursday 14th November 2013. Accordingly, I am compelled by Sec. 12(17) of the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010, to convene a meeting of the Authority within 14 days after receipt of the said report. Today’s meeting therefore is in fulfillment of that legal requirement.
The report of the tribunal was received in the open just like its proceedings had been. I forwarded copies of the same report to the Lord Mayor and all of you Honorable Councilors under cover of letter dated 14th November 2013 and the same was duly received by the Lord Mayor and his duly appointed advocates on the 14th November 2013. While the law gives me 14 days to convene a meeting like this one and also given the fact that I was at liberty to convene this meeting at any date and working day of my choice, including doing so immediately after the day of receipt of the tribunal report, I did not do so for justifiable reasons. I gave all of you Councilors and The Lord Mayor a period of one week to read this quite voluminous report not in a haste, but of course conscious at the same time of the 14 day time line set by the law. I also announced that this meeting would be called in the second. This is what exactly happened. I issued a notice dated 21st November 2013 inviting the Lord Mayor and Councilors for this meeting pursuant to Sec.12 (17) of the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010. It was therefore unfair to read and hear news commentaries from some sections insinuating that this meeting has been fast tracked to defeat some agendas of some people, moreover unknown to me. If indeed I had intended to fast track the meeting, I would have convened it a day or two after receipt of the tribunal report. Still that would have been within the 14 days.I wish therefore to advise all of you to respect this otherwise legal process and avoid unnecessary and irresponsible politicking.
Hon members allow me to address you on the genesis of the petition, setting up of the tribunal and the release of the report including a summary of its findings and conclusion. I am also obliged to do this by law.
On 17th May 2013, a petition was presented to my office by the Councilors of Kampala Capital City Authority, seeking for the removal of the Lord Mayor on grounds of misconduct, abuse of office and incompetence. Pursuant to Sec. 12(5) of Kampala Capital City Act, 2010, I evaluated the petition in consultation with the Attorney General through letters dated 20th May 2013 and 22nd May 2013 and satisfied myself that there do exist grounds for constituting a tribunal to investigate the allegations. By a letter dated 31st May 2013 Iconsulted with the Chief Justice on the suitability of the persons proposed to constitute the tribunal. On the 4th June 2013 the Chief Justice gave a no objection to the constitution of the tribunal and the proposed members to sit on it. All this was in fulfillment of the requirements for the process of the removal of The Lord Mayor or Deputy Lord under section 12 of the KCCA act.
On the 5th of June 2013, the tribunal was constituted with the following terms of reference:
(a) To determine its procedure, rules for its own guidance and management of the proceedings
(b) To investigate the allegations against the Lord Mayor as contained in the petition
(c) To determine whether there is a prima facie case for the removal of the Lord Mayor
(d) To submit a report to the Minister responsible for Kampala
On the request of the tribunal and for various justifiable reasons including; disruption of tribunal proceedings, court cases instituted against the tribunal , volume of evidence and the need to ensure that all the evidence required was made available to the tribunal, Iwas compelled to extend the time within which the tribunal was to complete its work.
It is important to emphasize and note that; my decision to appoint the tribunal, as well as its legality, were all challenged unsuccessfully in the High Court by the Lord Mayor. In most, if not all judgements, court agreed with my decision and concluded that it was within the law. All these legal contests Hon members, though tedious and time consuming, helped to put our actions as well as the integrity of the entire work of the tribunal to scrutiny and eventually vindicated us. Iwould like to thank Justice Bamugemereire and her team for leading the tribunal in a highly professional manner and for having managed to steer clear of all deliberately orchestrated provocations that were aimed at derailing the process.
The following is a summary of the tribunal findings.
That there were 12 (twelve) particulars which were pleaded in the Petition of the Councilors and the Lord Mayor was exonerated with regard to 4(four) particulars and was found culpable with regard to 8(eight) particulars as hereinafter stated.
The four particulars on which the Lord Mayor was exonerated were:
1. The Lord Mayor engaged in inciting the public in acts of violence, resulting in the destruction of property; Engaging in insightful acts which caused destruction of property, merchandise and death. (The activity of Okugogola Kampala). (See page 89 of the report)
2. The Tribunal could not attribute the failure to convene ordinary Authority meetings solely to incompetence of the Lord Mayor, although he indeed exhibited a measure of incompetence. It concluded that a prima facie case had not been made out against the Lord Mayor for his failure to convene a meeting. (See pages 125-126 of the report).
3. The Lord Mayor was exonerated on the account of carrying out persistent attacks on the technical staff and using abusive language; It was the conclusion of the Tribunal that this allegation had not been proved. See finding at Page 180 of the Report. In fact the tribunal held thus; “The evidence was weak and open to many interpretations …”
4. That the Petitioners failed to prove that the Lord Mayor disrupted court proceedings and aided the escape of prisoners. (See page 181 of the report)
The particulars under which the Lord Mayor was found culpable or guilty were as follows;
ABUSE OF OFFICE:
1. The Lord Mayor incited the public against collection of City dues.
The tribunal found that when the Lord Mayor chose to fight the assessment and payment of trading licenses within Kampala City, he did so arbitrarily and in abuse of his office (See page 79 of the report)
2. Appointment and removal, recall of councilors in Makerere and Mulago Nursing School.
The Tribunal found that when the Lord Mayor singularly appointed and removed councilors from Universities and Tertiary Institutions, he did so arbitrarily, to the prejudice of KCCA and in abuse of his office. (See Pages 96-97 of the Report)
3. Failure to hold Special Meetings when petitioned by councilors.
The tribunal found that a prima facie case has been made out that when the Lord Mayor, on all material occasions, refused to convene the petitioned meetings, or changed the agenda items unilaterally, or without assigning reasons, or upon frivolous or vexatious reasons, as the evidence on record shows, he did so arbitrarily to the prejudice of KCCA and therefore in abuse of office. (See Pages 111-112 of the Report)
4. Failure to sign minutes:
The tribunal found that a prima facie case has been made out to show that the Lord Mayor was incompetent when he failed to sign Authority minutes with the result that there is no binding record of the Authority. (See Pages 146-147 of the Report)
5. Failure to recognize the importance of Standing Committees; and
6. Failure to have the mandate of Standing Committees renewed.
The tribunal found that a prima facie case has been made out that the Respondent failed to accord importance to the functions of standing committees and to cause them to be reconstituted after they expired. There is no plausible explanation for this failure other than incompetence on his part. (See finding at Page 171 of the Report)
MISCONDUCT OR MISBEHAVIOR;
6. Misuse of Authority information
The tribunal found that whilst the contents of the Management letter could have raised concerns to the Lord Mayor he ought to have addressed this matter through the proper channels. It was irresponsible of the person of the Lord Mayor to disseminate the contents of the Management letter beyond the confines of the Authority. In his defense the Lord Mayor admitted that he knew he was disseminating information from a management letter. Having carefully considered the manner in which the Lord Mayor handled the management letter as misconduct. (See Page 184 of the Report)
7. Failure to heed to technical advice;
The Tribunal found that it is clear that the Respondent, the Lord Mayor is answerable to the Minister for Kampala. The Respondent himself admitted to this as did PW5 SulaimanKidandala. It is therefore not clear why Ministerial Directives to the Lord Mayor, such as Exhibit P5, were ignored. While the advice of the technical staff is not necessarily binding on the Lord Mayor, he had a duty to implement Ministerial Directives. The tribunal finds that a prima facie case was made out that the Lord Mayor failed and/ or refused to implement Ministerial Directives. This was misconduct on the part of the Lord Mayor. (See Page. 191 of the Report)
In conclusion the tribunal stated that it had distilled all the evidence presented before it and distinguished the matters that had been proved from those that had not. Matters that were not proved have been clearly pointed out and the Respondent duly exonerated thereof. Similarly allegations that were proved were also identified and evaluated against a high standard of proof. Having carefully listened to the arguments from both sides and considered all the evidence presented in respect of the grounds of the petition raised by the Councillors, the Tribunal established that there exists a prima facie case, for the removal of the Lord Mayor from office
I would therefore like to inform you HonourableCouncillors that under the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010 you may decide to move a motion for a resolution to remove the Lord Mayor from office. Iwould also like to inform you that the Lord Mayor or his advocate or expert of his choice shall be allowed to be heard in his defence to the motion moved by any of the Authority Councillors.
Thank you very much.
For God and my Country.
Frank Tumwebaze, MP
MINISTER IN-CHARGE OF THE PRESIDENCY AND KAMPALA CAPITAL CITY