By Hanning Mbabazi
Kampala: Emmanuel Sserunjogi, the Kawempe Division Mayor, has pleaded with the Lord Mayor of Kampala Elias Lukwago, over alleged deliberate sabotage of his division by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) technical wing.
Sserunjogi blames KCCA for removing Kawempe Division’s power to collect taxes, which he said has denied them revenue to achieve service delivery in the division. In a June 5, 2019 petition, Sserunjogi says KCCA introduced E-CITIE tax management system but its integrity has been compromised and accuses some KCCA officials of issuing forged license certificates to business owners. He says while KCCA collects different taxes such as local service tax, hotel tax, taxi licenses and taxi fees, only the last two are reflected on the E-CITIE platform, while the others are managed manually, making them prone to abuse.“Let the tax collection be decentralized to the divisions and a forensic investigation audit be carried out on E-CITIE management,” he said.
Sserunjogi added that his political wing has been denied the constitutional responsibilities of managing the affairs of Kawempe Division. “I am writing this letter to express my concerns together with the Council and all the local leaders, because our efforts to exercise our constitutional duties are getting sabotaged by the technical staff as I had earlier on expressed some of them to you,” Sserunjogi notes in his petition. He adds that “There is total mismanagement of the division and I would like to call your immediate action before the situation runs out of our hands.” At the centre of contention are the issues of property rate, centralization of revenue collection at KCCA and harassment of vendors by the law enforcement officers. Also of concern to the mayor is the issuance of fake licenses and receipts by KCCA officials to the traders in Kawempe Division.
He requests KCCA to do the process afresh claiming that KCCA officials who led the valuation exercise for property rates were unskilled and failed to work with the local leaders during the exercise. “Therefore, following all the above findings and resolutions, we conclude that there is need to review that whole property valuation exercise in the division as soon as possible,” Serunjogi states in the petition. About the law enforcement team, Sserunjogi accuses the team of causing untold suffering to the people of Kawempe, carrying out operations without consulting the division leaders and beyond working hours. “They manhandle the vendors and confiscate their goods plus arresting them. Basing on information I get, the biggest percentage of prisoners that are sent to Luzira are charged by KCCA. This ongoing unresolved situation has become a daily irritant in our division’s operations, and I would deeply appreciate your immediate intervention in handling these matters at the earliest,” he concludes. However, the Deputy Lord Mayor, Sarah Kanyike said that she had not received Serunjogi’s petition and that if it’s received they will handle it profoundly and satisfactory as raised. The KCCA spokesperson Peter Kaujju said as the technical team, they will investigate the matters raised by the mayor. “There is no one above the law. Let him address the matters through the available structures. We shall follow them up to find the root cause and forge a way forward,” Kaujju said.