Erias Lukwago, the Lord Mayor of Kampala City, has been accused of neglecting his duties, which has hindered infrastructure development in the city. As a result, Kampala is facing numerous challenges such as floods, potholes, and traffic congestion, leaving its residents in a state of distress.
State Minister for Kampala, Joseph Kabuye Kyafatagobye alleges that Lukwago is impeding road construction in the city for political motives. Kyofatogabye claimed that through the use of blame games, Lukwago has successfully persuaded Ugandans that the government’s actions are ineffective.
“Lukwago is bent on frustrating the improvement of the road network in Kampala City due to his selfishness and motive to pull the credulous local people he lures on his side, thinking that he is fighting for them, yet, in reality, he is satisfying his political gains and building his personal political career,” said Kyofatogabye.
However, the latter insists that government officials like Minister Kabuye are undermining the resolutions and proposals of elected leaders in the city with the mission of placing them in bad light before their electorates.
Ali Kasirye Mulyanyama, the Mayor of Makindye Division and a close associate of National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, commonly known as Bobi Wine, described Lukwago as an instigator who constantly seeks conflict rather than peace. He likened him to a relentless predator always searching for a fight, comparing his behaviour to that of a bloodthirsty monster.
Mulyanyama observed the ongoing heated exchange between Lukwago and Minister Kabuye regarding the city’s road construction. He insists that Lukwago consistently creates disturbances to hinder urban progress, particularly in the flood-prone city, while undermining others, thereby garnering greater support from the unsuspecting residents who genuinely perceive him as their saviour.
Throughout Lukwago’s tenure as Lord Mayor, he has consistently clashed with individuals at City Hall, most notably former Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Jennifer Semakula Musisi. Lukwago’s confrontations with Musisi were well-documented, as he tirelessly fought against her decisions. However, it is important to acknowledge that Musisi remained steadfast in her role and successfully implemented numerous improvements within the city.
In July 2011, Lukwago made a strong commitment to challenge Musisi, vowing to tirelessly assert his full authority. He accused her of encroaching upon his political powers yet Musisi’s work was mandated by the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010.
He insisted that, as the Lord Mayor, he possessed political authority over Musisi, and this authority should be reflected in the operations.
During the altercation, Henry Banyenzaki, the former Rubanda County MP, wisely advised the two leaders to prioritise service delivery instead of engaging in a futile battle to prove their superiority over one another. President Museveni appointed a minister for Kampala in response to the conflicts that arose. The aim was to address the disagreements and tensions caused by Lukwago’s power struggle, which diverted attention from the city’s service delivery.
In March 2017, when Lukwago and Beti Kamya clashed before a parliamentary committee, Musisi observed silently. She had already experienced Lukwago’s venomous remarks.
At that moment, she couldn’t help but smile as the two leaders confronted each other. Just a few years prior, Musisi would have been in Kamya’s position, confronting Lukwago with the strength and determination of a lioness.
Following Kamya’s appointment to the cabinet as the minister for Kampala in June 2016, Musisi appeared to become more reserved and took on the role of a spectator in the ongoing Lukwago vs Kamya conflict.
Lukwago finds satisfaction in fighting and assigning blame to the government and other KCCA officials for the challenging issues with city infrastructure, which are marred by corruption and frustrating delays. He expresses disappointment in witnessing the city struggle with floods and constant traffic.
He consistently opposes government initiatives, engaging in confrontations and placing blame, which has hindered the progress of infrastructure development in the city.
Lukwaga has shown a strong bias towards the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), which has resulted in neglecting his responsibilities and duties as the Lord Mayor. His political ambition has led him to completely neglect his duties in office, focusing instead on constructing a campaign that he believes will propel him to the presidency.