I’m Sorry I won’t be Party to KCCA City Carnival; Why Should I trust KCCA?

Ruins of KCCA's fountain that was constructed in front of Watoto Church

By: Davidson Ndyabahika

October 2, nurse I hear the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will be up again for the city carnival ideally thousands throngs the city in excitement and amidst dancing, web drinking and all sorts of things.

In addition, various corporate companies have a chance to exhibit their merchandise and people in a way make a choice of what to do, by and so on and so forth.

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I am glad I stay in Kampala but I won’t really celebrate the 2016 city carnival if reasonable explanations to my complaints are made clear and to the public.

At the height of the beautification of Kampala City, is a technocrat, often referred to as the Kampala iron lady, Jenifer Musisi who was appointed by the president of Uganda H.E Yoweri K. Museveni in 2011.

Her appointment was welcomed with some people viewing her as the trailblazer of a modern transformation in Africa, with her shrewdness, toughness and boldness was most often rivaled to her being an iron lady. Just like her name “Musisi” she had landed in the city as an earthquake.

Colleagues, I have no hesitation in celebrating all KCCA has done under Musisi. I am definitely in awe of the landmarks so far made, garbage collection, yes, road works and maintenance though we continue to choke on potholes, and somehow well-paved walkways, construction of state of art markets doubling of revenue collection among the many other things you have done including chasing away vendors on the streets.

From my view and without being far too dramatic, I am disappointed by KCCA’s misuse of our resources. In 2014, the general public contributed generously through our taxes to the beautification of the city.

My major concern is about the money injected in the construction of fountain and leisure gardens just in front of Watoto Church. What went wrong? Was the 700 million for the fountain worth it?

What happened to their maintenance? While visiting the so called gardens today morning I almost shed tears when I found that actually the fountain had been vandalized and abandoned by the manager KCCA.


It was also to my disappointment to find human wastes, in the walk ways just in front of Bata shop at Equatorial mall at midday and yet we have workers. It is a shame indeed that we have such.

Whereas it is really understandable and should be condemned that defecating in the city public places is unbearable, it is rather very alarming to find that it is midday but you find feaces of many days in the well paved walkways and people continue to pass as if nothing wrong is happening.

While Kampala may really be some good years away from have a responsible public transport means with working buses to provide cheap road transport to city dwellers, KCCA has successfully failed to regulate the current mode of transport of Taxis and boda bodas/ motorcycle taxis and no wonder they continue to be the most causes of road accidents in the city.

Attempts to know how many motorcycles we have in the city have been frustrated severally and as such, they harbor criminal gangs that continue to break the law and go untouched.

Yes the motorcycle taxi business is a lucrative on but how much do they contribute to our revenue? How about the accidents they cause and the number of lives of people they claim? Who knows how many they are? What is the modus oparendi of these cycles?

Why do they ride without helmets or carry passengers without helmets?

Besides where did our street lights go? In preparation for the papal visit last year, KCCA gave a 7bn contract to Phillips East Africa to install 750 solar streets lights in Kampala.

Government had during the preparations released 7bn shillings to replace the LED lighting system in the city which had run dysfunctional since their installation during the 2007 CHOGM preparations.

What we saw was not installing of these lights but instead uprooting the lights which were in the city centre to be taken on the Jinja road as if the other parts of the city were too safe to require street lights. Today, the city continues to have darkness and some of us fear for our lives in the darkness.

On average according to the available data, KCCA spends 200 million shillings on power bills for lighting city streets and it was hoped that by fitting solar powered lights, it would reduce the costs and maybe the resources would be channeled to other things like maintenance but where are the lights?

We all know that KCCA employees are among the best-paid in the country. For instance in 2012, Musisi earned about $14,000 per month—over 36 times the salary of a government doctor and nearly four times the quarterly budget of a typical village health center.

The lowest paid KCCA worker, the woman responsible for making tea, earns $440—nearly double the amount doctors earn. This salary rift from other public institutions has been a cause for alarm with institutions like Makerere university crying out because of living in dire poverty due to low salaries and wages. The discrimination is alarming.

However, my simple question is you paid to make systems work at KCCA?

Why would you receive money from government in addition to the revenues you collect and still fail to provide the resources to maintain even the little investments that you already have?

What is the difference between you and a certain UPE school called Kyamuteera primary school deep in my village in Rushenyi Ntungamo which is poorly funded and has no functioning facilities. Their situation might be understandable but what about you?

I don’t find the essence of celebrating the festival when in actual sense the celebration is aimed at making us forget the stench behind the failures of the highly paid civil servants in the country and yet systems are failing as they sit and cough coffee in lavish hotels around Kampala. Clean up the Kampala mess and the celebrations will be for everyone.

The writer is a journalist.


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