The mayor of Kampala, a staunch opponent of Uganda’s president, has been found guilty by a government tribunal of charges that could see him kicked out of office.
It is not the first time Erias Lukwago has clashed with the Ugandan government. Kampala’s mayor was arrested several times in recent years for participating in demonstrations led by his ally, opposition leader Kizza Besigye.
The case against Lukwago was launched in May, with a petition from local leaders accusing him disobeying directives and inciting the public against paying taxes. Its findings give the Kampala Capital City Authority the legal grounds to impeach him.
Kampala Minister Frank Tumwebaze told reporters on Thursday that a meeting of city councilors would be held to decide Lukwago’s political fate. “The councilors will deliberate on it. They can take a decision either to say, ‘we forgive you Lord Mayor, you have no case,’ or ‘we remove you.’ All that is in the law,” he stated.
But some are convinced that Lukwago’s trial was held simply to get rid of him. Besigye, at a news conference on Thursday, said the mayor’s removal is a way for Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni to gain control of the capital.
“The process of censuring and removing the Lord Mayor from office has been patently and comprehensively fraud. The reason they had to override any kind of rules and laws is because of the overwhelming political desire of Mr. Museveni to take over Kampala through the back door,” said Besigye.
Kampala Minister Tumwebaze said the meeting of city councilors is due to take place within the next two weeks.