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Q&A with Kampala Mayoral Aspirant Beatrice Kayanja

So far, persons who have declared interest in the race include Al-Haj Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala, Musician Joseph Mayanja alias Jose Chameleon, fellow musician Daniel Kazibwe, also known as Ragga Dee, Kampala Woman MP Nabillah Naggayi Ssempala, Godfrey Nyakana Amooti and IT Guru Beatrice Kayanja.
04 Aug 2020 12:29
Beatrice Kayanja a 2021 Lord Mayor Aspirant addressing her campign team during the launch of her bid recently at Hotel Africana

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The Kampala Mayoral Race is continually attracting new entrants, a blend of both seasoned politicians and fresh faces. 

So far, persons who have declared interest in the race include Al-Haj Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala, Musician Joseph Mayanja alias Jose Chameleon, fellow musician Daniel Kazibwe, also known as Ragga Dee, Kampala Woman MP Nabillah Naggayi Ssempala, Godfrey Nyakana Amooti and IT Guru Beatrice Kayanja. 

Born and raised in Najjanankumbi, a suburb of Kampala, Kayanja went to Trinity College and Makerere High School before joining Nairobi College where she pursued a diploma in Travel and Tourism and later at Westminster University in the United Kingdom for a Degree in Information Technology and Project Management

For eight years, Kayanja worked as a full time IT trainer at the Microsoft headquarters in Reading, UK until 2012 when she started promoting East Africa through Art and craft. Uganda Radio Network sought to know more about Kayanja, the newest entrant in the race, who believes that Kampala needs a Female Lord Mayor to overcome key challenges to its growth.   

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Kayanja says she derives the zeal from the failure by the current city leadership to deliver services to the people.   

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She says after Elections, she will ensure that all politicians focus more on work and avoid continuously politicking, a problem that endangers the sustainability of service delivery.    

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Below are the detailed excerpts of her interview with Uganda Radio Network;

What Brings you into Politics? 

Politics has never been in my plan. However, for so many years, certain things have made me feel outraged. Over the years, nothing has changed that would make Ugandans proud of their city Kampala hence pushing me into this thing called politics. 

What do you mean nothing has changed?

Specifically, I am talking about the unplanned buildings and constructions taking place in Kampala, the expansion of slums that will eventually highly cost this country, you see hostels being erected amidst affluent residential mansions (No physical planning at all), no access roads to facilitate emergency services, all these things drive me crazy.   

Who is to blame for all those wrongs?The lack of political will to make implementable decisions and of course, the corruption that has fueled the approval of wrong building plans.    

Do you have that political will?  

Not only thinking but I believe I have the necessary exposure and experience. I have travelled, met and worked with people who have the expertise and now I believe I have the potential to bring about that change in my home city, Kampala.     

As an IT specialist, how do you think IT can be used to redefine Kampala? 

Together with other sectors, IT can be used to support the redefinition of this city in areas like Physical planning, coming up with new master plans for slums. We can use IT to fight youth Unemployment, Design and build low-cost housing facilities, provide Medicare for all regardless of one’s economic status to mention but a few.

Do you think politics is a problem for this city’s development? 

Partly yes. If all politicians knew that politics and politicking must and should end after elections, and they begin working after taking the oath of office, then politics wouldn’t be seen as a problem to this city.  

How long can it take for Kampala to transform to the level of major global cities?

Not decades, not centuries, all we need is dedication, teamwork and commitment. Even in the first year of such leadership, results will be visible.  

What is your plan for Kampala? 

I will concentrate on what I see as priorities such as Medicare for all, by improving our healthcare system, provide enough and reliable ambulances for each division, enough personal Protective equipment for health workers, providing enough medicines in hospitals, provide free healthcare for children under five years of age, as well as facilitate and motivate health workers to stop them from flying out for greener pastures.    

What is your political alignment? 

I am coming as an independent candidate because I have heard enough of these political parties with their internal wrangles and endless fights. I would like to urge the voters to stop the political party mentality. We should now start voting for people who have the potential to deliver. I am just here to serve and deliver. 

How would you rate Erias Lukwago? 

He has been an all-time media attention-seeking leader other than a service deliverer.  He forgot about his role and decided to seek public sympathy through endless media engagements, whenever a simple disagreement erupted between him and his opponents. such an approach not only hinders service delivery in the city but also cripples the capability of an office like that of a Lord Mayor to perform its duties for the people of Kampala.   

Do you believe an opposition Lord mayor can deliver under the NRM government? 

Yes. If they focus on their manifesto. The government cannot fail to provide resources if the leaders are willing to sit on the table and discuss what the priorities are. 

Lastly, What’s your plan for the girl child?  

I Have always worked to empower girls. The government tried to establish skilling vocational institutions which cater to over 70,000 girls annually. However, what happens after skilling these girls is not plausible. Most of them are given equipment and envelopes of cash to startup businesses. what is missing is having these girls placed in already established companies like Nytil for mentoring before joining the world of business. This is what I will have my focus on.