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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Mr. Lord "Theatrical" Mayor

Ope P.

The current Lord Mayor of Kampala is one of those people you could describe as having "a flair of the theatrical." As an elected official, the Lord Mayor is responsible for ensuring that the city of Kampala is taken care of (a.k.a. beautified) and that the needs of its citizens are met. To make this immense job more practical, the Lord Mayor is supported by a council of men and women who bring the specific needs of their respective districts to his attention at scheduled council meetings. The problem however, is that he has allegedly not held any very few of these meetings since he was elected into office.

After almost three years of allegedly not being able to bring the needs of Kampala's citizens to the attention of the Lord Mayor, the council has thrown up their hands and decided to impeach him. The impeachment trial is being conducted by an administrative tribunal, which is being headed by the justice I have been working under at the Anti-Corruption Court.

During one of the tribunals first days, the Lord Mayor showed up half dressed claiming that he had been teargased and "manhandled" on his way to court by the police (this last allegation is fiercely denied by the police). Ever since that fateful day, he has refused to attend tribunal proceedings  (or allow any of his counsel to represent him during the proceedings), citing health and legal reasons. Notwithstanding his alleged health reasons for not attending the tribunal, he has been photographed all over the city and country doing various things including inciting riots over the legality of the proceeding.

Unfortunately, I missed the first week of trial so I have not been able to experience any of the Lord Mayor's theatrics in person. I have however, had the opportunity to experience them secondhand through news reports and witness testimonies. He must be a very interesting man indeed. I am so bummed that I am leaving before the tribunal's conclusion, but I will definitely continue to follow its progress after I leave.

Although I have not seen the Lord Mayor, I have been able to observe a fair amount of witness testimonies. In addition, I have also had the opportunity to do some research tribunal members regarding the legality of the proceedings, a person's right to legal representation during an administrative proceeding and the duties of counsel during an administrative proceeding. All of these projects required me to delve into the relevant Ugandan case and regulatory law. It truly has been a wonderfully enriching experience, and definitely something I will remember forever.