By Nicholas Kalungi.
If you did a random survey around Kampala asking people why they vote for a given candidate, the answers would likely rotate around desire for better roads, security, equipped hospitals, schools, etc.
This is because the ordinary person invests their entire trust in an elected leader for service provision. Very few people know that it is actually the appointed and hired technocrats that are charged with service delivery.
So, if a given constituency elects a local political council that is at loggerheads with the technical wing, the resultant impotence in service delivery is always guaranteed. The same is the case when a total yes wo/man is elected in to office.
We have experienced it first hand in Kampala, where the political wing has made a career in opposing everything brought about by the technical wing since the inception of Kampala Capital City Authority.
The KCCA Act never helped the situation, having put all administrative and implementation duties in the hands of the executive director and the team, leaving the political wing with roles such as supervision and budget approvals. Therefore, the political team has since thrived on opposing the status quo.
That is why in 2021, Kampala needs a new lord mayor, a person with a different vision and mentality.
That person is Innocent Kawooya.
In Kawooya; a social entrepreneur and financial inclusion expert, Kampala is getting an accomplished achiever. He is not a politician, but understands politics. Even though he is both youth and youthful, he comes with a wealth of experience in administration and development.
Riding on the slogan of Digitizing Kampala, Kawooya carries with him a package of solutions for the downtrodden, the corporates, the middle class as well as the business community.
At only 32 years of age, he has hustled and has achieved. His track record speaks for itself.
Right after finishing his Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE), Kawooya never sat out the long vacation like many do. He instead decided to create his own job that would at the same time change the lives of many young people.
He thus co-founded HIPipo and the organisation has since transformed into one of the world’s top digital and financial inclusion advocates.
To those close to him, right from childhood, Kawooya has always lived with a can-do mindset to the extent that just in primary three, he stood for the head prefect position. This was an early indicator of not only an ambitious person, but a true leader in in the making.
It is no wonder that he went ahead to become head prefect in senior three, paving the way for many years laden with responsibility, especially in the ICT, digital and financial inclusion space.
Now in their 15th year, HiPipo, where he is CEO, have not only run a successful social entertainment platform, but also led the digital revolution of East Africa’s entertainment industry, contributed meaningfully to the growth of online media uptake in Uganda, as well as advocating for a financial technology ecosystem that benefits everyone.
Along the way, Kawooya has directly or indirectly enabled the employment of over 2,000 people in areas such as ICT, commerce, trade and entertainment, the majority of whom are women, not to mention those he has mentored and supported.
More importantly; in Kawooya, Kampala is getting someone with full knowledge of what the “underprivileged” Kampalans go through every day, but also with ability and expertise to fix their predicament.
As seen above, he comes without baggage. He only brings experience and expertise. He is not looking for a job. He is here to transform Kampala. And he knows how to!
He knows that Kampala needs a model of development that serves and is uniform for all. He knows that Kampala collects enough taxes to provide social services in sanitation, transport, health, security, education etc.
He knows that a lord mayor can only succeed if they operate on people-centric lines, other than political party ideologies.
Kawooya knows that Kampala is full of hardworking, innovative, and entrepreneurial citizens. They just need an enabling environment and a leader with a clear vision. And his vision is of inclusive leadership. He knows that the technical team at KCCA has a role and so do the elected leaders. But most importantly, the biggest stakeholder is the Kampala resident, the final consumer of all policies from City Hall.
The time is now to put an end to partisan politics that is holding our lovely city back. And that end is in Kawooya Innocent becoming the Lord Mayor come 2021.
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