KAMPALA — For quite a long time, Kampala city has cried out loud for potent leaders to save it from the muddled politicking that has characterised its administration since the turn of the century.
So, when President Museveni announced last evening that he had chosen Dorothy Kisaka as the new Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) executive director and Eng David Luyimbazi Ssali to deputize her, many experts weighed in with hope that this might be the right team to steady the turbulent waves at City Hall.
Eng. Luyambazi is specifically is receiving nods of approval for this herculean task that has seen over seven resignations of top technocrats since KCC became KCCA.
“My money is on Eng. Luyimbazi; he is a man with a proven track record, especially when he worked at UNRA. I think he is going to be the man running things at city hall and he is going to fix every crack in the system,” wrote one Twitter user.
This candid assessment is probably premised on Eng Luyimbazi’s earlier achievements as a senior engineer and urban planner, most notably his hand in designing and constructing the Jinja Cable bridge and Entebbe Express highway.
He may be 48 years old, but Eng Luyimbazi comes with a CV many seasoned Engineers just dream of.
When Uganda National Roads Authority was instituted in 2007, a 36-year-old Luyimbazi was among the first entrants when he was appointed the director of planning in 2008 and his first assignment was the Source of the Nile bridge, which was opened last year.
Speaking to The Observer newspaper in January 2019 following the opening of this bridge, Eng Luyimbazi noted; “We could have done a simple steel bridge, but we needed to do something that keeps a legacy.”
This is a statement of a person who values their work more than anything else. And this has been true in the over 50 infrastructural projects across Uganda that he has handled in the past two decades.
If he can dedicate the same expertise and time to re-engineering the sickening city infrastructure, then we can safely bet that Kampala is in for a huge transformation – bar political intrigue.
“The good thing is that he is a deputy. I believe this will shield him from the political battles and he concentrates his energies on planning and rebuilding for Kampala such that it can qualify to be called a city,” noted an official who requested for anonymity.
When news broke of Luyimbazi’s appointment, some naysayers rushed to social media to malign him over the mismanagement of the Mukono-Katosi road construction funds.
These, however, did not allude to the fact that the inspectorate of government investigated this case and conluded that Luyimbazi had no involvement – no case to answer.
In a letter dated January 10, 2019, the inspector general of government, Irene Mulyagonja exonerated him of any wrong doing in the famous Mukono-Katosi 24 billion saga which saw former State lands minister lose his job.
Mulyagonja wrote thus:
“This is to inform you that the inspectorate of government did not find you culpable in the mismanagement of the procurement of a contractor in the construction of the Mukono-Katosi Kisoga/Nyenga road and therefore this letter serves to clear you of any allegations made against you with regard to that procurement.”
President Museveni has shortlisted a competent man. It is now over to the public service commission to appoint him.
Parents: Ssali Lule and Elizabeth Nalunkuuma Ssali Lule (RIP) of Makerere Kavule.
Education: Makerere College School (O and A-level); Makerere University (civil engineering). Master of science in Major Programme Management (University of Oxford); Masters in Highway Management and Engineering (University of Birmingham).
Work Experience: Victoria Construction Company, Kagga and Partners, Ministry of Works (2000), UNRA (2008).
Having left UNRA four years ago, Eng Luyimbazi is the CEO of Basic Group Limited, a multi-disciplinary company with offerings that span engineering, construction, real estate, manufacturing, energy, oil & gas, agriculture, education, commodities trading, technology and financial services.
Quotable quote: “I’m a professional engineer but most of my work entails planning and I strive to do things that normally people don’t do,” he says. “I love to influence decisions and right from childhood, I have always defined my trajectory in life.”