Politics

Rugunda: Lukwago Won’t Return to Office

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Minister Frank Tumwebaze during the meeting with opposition leaders in February 2015

The Kenyan Government has started negotiations with the company building the Standard Gauge Railway for the extension of the line from Nairobi to Naivasha.

This was revealed this week at a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta, information pills http://checkhimout.ca/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-ms-sites-list-table.php Deputy President Wiiliam Ruto, information pills http://converseconsultants.com/components/com_k2/models/itemlist.php cabinet secretaries and officials of China Roads and Bridges in Voi.

The extension of 120 kilometres will link special industrial zones that would be established at Naivasha, ask http://cssassociation.org/system/modules/backend/checkboxwizard.php which is home to the Olkaria geothermal power plants, to Nairobi and Mombasa.

To attract investors to set up industrial complexes at the specially designated zones near Olkaria, the Government will offer them subsidised power tariffs.

Firms will also have their power connected directly from Olkaria to ensure uninterrupted supplies, and in some cases, companies – such as those dealing in apparel manufacturing – will be allowed access to steam.

The Government also plans to set up many industrial parks along the route of the SGR. Already, the Ministry of Industrialisation has identified land for setting up industrial parks in Mariakani, Voi, Naivasha, Athi River and Emali.

Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Aden Mohamed said his ministry is already in talks with the owners of the lands near the train stations and expects that acquisition will be completed by within the next financial year.

At the meeting, which is held quarterly between the Government and the Chinese company, President Kenyatta directed all ministries and agencies to ensure they play their role in ensuring that the construction of the SGR is not impeded.

“We must to everything in our power to ensure that the SGR is delivered on time and on budget,” President Kenyatta said.

“There must be no laxity in terms of delivering what is one of our most transformational projects.”

President Kenyatta directed Cabinet Secretaries to take charge of resolving any issue that might delay the construction of the railway.

Some of the issues that the meeting agreed should be resolved before the next meeting in August include moving of power lines from the route of the railway line and issue of public facilities that might be affected by the line.

The meeting was held after President Kenyatta and the Deputy President toured the construction of the Voi River Super Bridge.  The bridge, which cuts through the Tsavo National Park’s elephant corridor, has a length of two kilometres and an elevation of 18 feet.

 

It was part of the SGR design to construct the expensive super bridge to avoid interfering with the migration of elephants.

The officials of the Chinese company and Kenya Railways briefed the President on the progress of the whole project.  The construction of bridges and culverts in most of parts of the route is now complete and laying of tracks is scheduled to start in October.

Speaking at an event in Voi late on Tuesday, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said the eight counties through which the SGR will pass were watching progress keenly, aware that the line would totally transform how business is run.

“We want to see it reach Nairobi ahead of schedule. We, the governors of 47 counties and especially the 8 that the line will pass through, are excited and keen that thus line be delivered as quickly as possible,” he said.

Cabinet Secretaries who accompanied the President during the tour included Health CS James Macharia who is also the acting Transport CS, Internal Security CS Joseph Nkaissery, Environment CS Judy Wakhungu and Sports CS Hassan Wario.
Former Prime Minister Hon Amama Mbabazi today dug through the archives to bring out some of his toughest school memories that saw him through to where he stands now as one of Uganda’s most respected figures.

Unveiling an old picture of him and his schoolmates, visit http://chicagoarchitecture.org/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-list-table.php Mbabazi revealed that his school days were not as smooth as many would imagine.

He says he leapt over a number of obstacles and is a strong believer of surmounting challenges.

“My father bought me my first pair of shoes when I was admitted to the prestigious Kigezi College Butobere, there http://challengeidee.fr/wp-includes/feed-rss2.php Kabale in 1966 at the age of 17, http://contentisbae.com/wp-content/plugins/g1-socials/g1-socials-front.php ” he said.

“I had recently graduated from Kigezi High School Junior (J1-J2) another refined institution where favor was reserved for pupils of ecclesiastical background.”

mbabazi

Mbabazi says he also greatly suffered scorn and bullying by the virtue of the village that he was born and raised in, which was famous for making local brew.

“The children, whose families came from or lived in, the villages of Ruhita and Bugongi, were often treated with suspicion and scorn. This was entirely because the locals had refused to give up indigenous practices such as brewing their own alcohol,” he said.

His head teacher, while punishing Mbabazi once remarked that nothing good had ever come out of his village of Rihita apart from sweet potatoes!

“To our headmaster’s surprise out of the 60 students who undertook the Junior 2 exam, only 10 advanced to Butobere and of those were the seven Ruhita boys, myself inclusive,” said Mbabazi.

Through it all, he managed to make it out as a proficient lawyer and seasoned politician, serving on various top positions in the current NRM Government.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has revealed that despite his intervention to resolve the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) political gridlock, capsule http://csrf.net/app/soapclient/sforceemail.php councillors remain opposed to Erias Lukwago’s return to office as city mayor.

In a statement to Parliament on the KCCA budget approval vis-à-vis his engagements on the removal from office of the Lord Mayor, purchase http://checkhimout.ca/mind/wp-includes/class-wp-taxonomy.php government said the councillors who impeached Lukwago are yet to change their mind.

“The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister has gone ahead and met the Councillors of Kampala Capital City Authority on 2nd February 2015 who expressed their dissatisfaction with the reinstatement of the Hon. Erias Lukwago as Lord Mayor and demanded that their views as initiators of the removal of the Lord Mayor should be respected, prostate http://dailyampersand.com/wp-content/plugins/the-events-calendar/src/deprecated/tribeeventslistwidget.php ” reads part of Rugunda’s statement.

The Prime Minister further claimed he sought the legal opinion of the Attorney General “on this matter and was duly briefed that the question of the removal of the Lord Mayor was a subject of litigation and was currently before the Court of Appeal.”

He further stated that, “Since the Judiciary is an independent arm of Government, it is important that the Judiciary independently decides on matters before it to avoid undue conflict between the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary.”

On the May 17, 2013, a written petition signed by more than one third of the KCCA Councillors, was presented to the Minister responsible for Kampala, seeking the removal of the Lord Mayor on grounds of misconduct, abuse of office and incompetence.

Presidency and KCCA Minister Frank Tumwebaze said there were sufficient grounds for constituting a tribunal to investigate the allegations.

The Minister further consulted with the Chief Justice – again pursuant to legal requirement – on the suitability of persons proposed to constitute the tribunal which would later remove Lukwago from office.

Rugunda said Lukwago fell short of challenging the constitution of the tribunal was in the High Court at Kampala vide Miscellaneous Cause No. 281 of 2013. 2.

“The law offers a remedy to a Lord Mayor removed from office by allowing them to appeal to the High Court within twenty one days after the decision is communicated to them and the High Court may confirm or revoke the decision to remove him or her and make any order that the court considers just in the matter,” said Rugunda.

“This legal recourse was not pursued by Erias Lukwago. Instead he filed completely different proceedings in the High Court seeking to quash the tribunal report and its findings and also sought a court injunction to stop the meeting convened by the Minister to discuss the Tribunal report, among others.”

A court injunction was issued on November 25, 2014 on the same day the KCCA meeting convened to discuss the Tribunal report at which meeting the Lord Mayor was removed from office by a vote of 29 to 3.

What followed thereafter were a series of court applications seeking to reinstate the Hon. Erias Lukwago to office.

The High Court in one of the applications found the Attorney General, KCCA officials, among others, in contempt of court and ordered the Hon Lukwago to return to office.

Being dissatisfied with the decision of the Court, the Attorney General and KCCA appealed the matter to the Court of Appeal which granted an interim injunction staying the implementation of the High Court orders prompting Hon Lukwago to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court ordered that the status quo should be maintained and referred the matter back to the Court of Appeal with directives for the said court to redress Hon. Lukwago’s grievances.

Rugunda explained that, “The practical effect of the court order regarding maintenance of the status quo is that any attempt to reinstate Hon. Erias Lukwago contrary to the court order would amount to contempt of court.”

He added: “The Court of Appeal has had a busy schedule and is yet to fix the matter for hearing and therefore, unless and until the Court orders otherwise, Hon. Erias Lukwago is barred from resuming the duties of Lord Mayor, Kampala Capital City Authority.”

The latest development underlines government’s determination to keep Lukwago away from office.

Observers will suggest that Lukwago is better off preparing for fresh campaigns ahead of the 2016 General elections.

Lukwago recently revealed that Rugunda hoodwinked the public that government had intentions of allowing his return to office, a claim the premier dismissed as false.

“The Prime Minister stood at the floor of Parliament and promised dialogue with the Leader of Opposition and I Okayed it, but with my own reservations considering what had happened previously. The Leader of Opposition got himself ready but nothing up to now has happened,” Lukwago noted at a press conference in February.

“We waited for December, then January and now February is soon ending but nothing has come out. I thought the Prime Minister meant what he said on the floor of Parliament but it seems they just hoodwinked the public.”

KCCA okay without Lukwago

Rugunda yesterday revealed that KCCA is “effectively being administered” in Lukwago’s absence, the “political oversight being exercised by the Councillors at KCCA and the Minister responsible for Kampala.”

He said the Auditor General, for the first time in the history of Kampala, gave an unqualified opinion confirming proper financial management and accountability of public funds by the KCCA for FY 2013/2014; and the World Bank through its Global Credit Ratings Agency has certified KCCA’s Credit Worthiness and rated it as A1.

“This makes Kampala the third city in Africa to receive such an international ranking. This shall open up the institution for multipronged avenues to source funding. The KCCA’s e-Citie revenue platform last week won a Business Excellence award for the digitization of the revenue mobilization in the city,” said Rugunda.

“This is going to act as a benchmark for local governments in the country. The KCCA and Kampala therefore needs the support, both financial and moral to continue redeeming the image of this great city.”

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