AHMED KATEREGGA MUSAAZI
Brothers and sisters, we have gone a long way and we have reached a point of no return.
At independence , we inherited a Westminster system where a Head of State and Government was elected by Parliament and a party with majority seats in parliament forms government.
A Katikkiro Of Buganda, Katikkiro of Bunyoro, Katukiro of Busoga, Omuhiikirwa of Tooro, Engazi of Ankole, and Secretaries General of non kingdom districts, were elected by Lukiiko, Rukurato, Eishengyero or regional/district councils acting as electoral colleges.
The city and municipal mayors and deputy mayors were also appointed by city and municipal councils respectively.
Then came Idi Amin in 1971. He dissolved cabinet and parliament and vested executive and legislative powers in himself as a Military Head of State.
He did away with city and municipal mayors and vested all the powers with Town Clerks.
Later he reinstated city and municipal mayors but were appointed by himself. This is what even Obote ll government retained and between 1980 and 1986, there were no election of local administration councils since even local governments had been abolished in 1967 and were replaced by local administrations.
According to Odoki Report, most Ugandans preferred direct elections. Thus Odoki Draft came with a President directly elected which C.A. retained.
The local government chairpersons including district chairpersons, city mayors, city division
chairpersons, municipal mayors, gombolola chairpersons and town council chairpersons are all directly elected.
When a regional government came in 2005 as a compromise position between federalists and Unitarianism, a Regional Chairperson was also to be directly elected, which Mmengo detested and was done away with understanding.
So it will be retrogressive, backward and primitive for NRM, which introduced popular participatory democracy in Uganda in 1986 with an experiment from Luwero Triangle since 1983, to come out eating its own baby i.e. direct election of central and local government leaders because of the stubbornness of one individual or a group of a few individuals.
Those individuals reap from poor service delivery by government departments including KCCA and once that is solved, the next Lord Mayor shall an NRM flag bearer.
l don’t know where, central government shall stop because l anticipate the same scenario in the coming Wakiso city unless NRM wakes up and create at least four urban districts of Entebbe, Wakiso, Nabweru and Kira, which can help in decentralizing service delivery.
The writer is the ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY, NRM BUGANDA REGIONAL TASK FORCE