The former Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi has revealed that a grenade was one time found under her car.
Musisi who resigned in December made the revelation on Thursday at Ash Center, Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. She was giving her inaugural talk.
The centre is collaboration between Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. She is the inaugural City Leader in Residence with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.
This was the first time that Musisi disclosed an attempt to kill her. She spent seven year as KCCA’s first Executive Director. Musisi’ tenure was characterized by successes and confrontations with political leaders and different interest groups who felt threatened by her policies.
“One time a grenade was found under my car,” said Musisi. “It was shocking to see the extent to which the resistance could go—blow me up because I’m trying to organize the management and finances of the city.”
Musisi’ major confrontations were with government officials who she was chasing out of KCCA properties and various associations that were collecting tax on behalf of the institution. For instance, Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) was collecting tax from taxi operators. Collection of dues of vendors in different markets had also been contracted.
“The agents that were collecting taxes for the city were very powerful… and had been collecting the taxes for decades. They felt an entitlement,” Musisi said. “They thought I was joking.”
The battles of who should collect tax took a legal direction where KCCA triumphed. Thereafter, Musisi recollected that deposed tax collectors turned to people telling them not pay tax to “KCCA thieves.”
Musisi says these groups later “started threatening our lives.” She added; “Why are they trying to kill me? I’m the good guy here. It was shocking to see the extent to which it could go, with violent attacks targeting my staff because we’re trying to organize the finances of the city.”
Musisi recalled that when she came to KCCA, she had to figure out how many people actually worked for the institution. She also had to tally up KCCA assets from real estate to bank accounts.
“No one knew how many assets the city had, so every other month we would discover another asset. I would write and say, ‘Hey, this belongs to the city, not you. Can we have it back?’” Musisi said.
After tallying bank accounts, she discovered 151 previously unknown accounts belonging to the KCCA, holding over $13 million (UGX. 48bn valued at today’s exchange rate), a staggering sum for a city that was at the time collecting only $11 million (UGX. 41.2 bn valued at today’s exchange rate) in annual tax revenues.
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