Mixed Reactions As Kampala Minister Amongi Approves New Allowances For KCCA executives

The Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Betty Amongi has approved additional allowances for the newly created authority and division executive members under the 2020 Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Amendment Act.

The allowances communicated in a December 10th letter by the minister to the executive director and the deputy executive director of the authority are to be paid on top of the member’s current entitlements as councilors. Before assuming extra duties as executive committee members, the authority and division councilors were earning Shillings 4.45 million and Shillings 3.5 million respectively.

Amongi approved Shillings 7,632,500 for the authority executive members and Shillings 4,925,000 for division executive members. For authority councilors, Amongi says Shillings 5,462,500 is responsibility allowance, Shillings 2 million transport allowance, Shillings 70,000 airtime and Shillings 100,000 medical allowance. For division executive members, Shillings 3,775,000 is responsibility allowance, Shillings 100,000 transport allowance, Shillings 50,000 airtime allowance and 100,000 medical allowances.

“The purpose of this letter is to authorize you to pay the above-approved allowances for the above established offices. This should be done with consideration for previous months when the executive members executed their duties in compliance with the Solicitor General’s opinion,” reads the minister’s letter. The amendment of the Act created the above offices and that of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker at both the authority and division levels. When the Act came into effect in March 2020, KCCA budgeted close to Shillings 3 billion for the new office bearers.

However, these have never been paid as there emerged questions on whether they qualify for new remuneration different from what they were earning as councilors. KCCA sought guidance from the Solicitor general. In a November 9, 2020 letter, addressed to the KCCA executive director, the deputy solicitor general Christopher Gashirabake said the executive committee members don’t qualify for remuneration.

He opined that while the office of the speakers as provided for under section 8A of the amended Act and that of their deputies under section 29A can be categorized as new political offices, executive committees at the authority and the five divisions are not new offices for purposes of remuneration because these are councilors appointed to the executive committee and division committees to discharge additional duties of the council on those committees.

Adding that, “for remuneration purposes, they are already catered for under section 77 of the KCCA Act, 2010 which gives the minister responsible for the capital city in consultation with the minister responsible for finance and the Minister for public service the mandate to determine the remuneration of councilors of the authority and those of lower urban council,”

Gashirabake said since the section refers to specific offices, it would require an amendment of the law before the same section is used to determine remuneration for the executive committees. He said the executive committee members can be remunerated as councillors.

Now, Amongi is using powers confirmed upon her under section 77 of the KCCA Act to approve additional allowances. She says that they consulted extensively with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the Ministry of Public Service, the Solicitor General and Cabinet. She says cabinet approved the position ready. However, Amongi has only addressed herself on allowances for executive members leaving Speakers and their deputies still hanging.

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