Kalerwe vendors find alternatives after market closure

Kalerwe market

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) on Saturday closed Kalerwe Market and a section of Nakawa Market due to poor public health practices amid the global breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have closed operations of Kalerwe Market and a section of Nakawa Market due to poor public health practices and untidiness following weeks of back to back engagements without good results,” a Saturday tweet by KCCA reads. “We will work with them to improve before reopening.”

Speaking to media over the weekend following the decision, the minister for Kampala Betty Amongi asked the public not to come to market.

“We are asking all people, do not come to Kalerwe Market tomorrow. However, we are asking all landlords of Kalerwe market to sit with officers from KCCA in the next two days to reorganize the market in compliance with H.E the president’s directives. If within the two days they are able to give us a plan that is workable, then on Monday we shall open the market” the minister noted.

“We cannot put the lives of other Ugandans at risk because you have failed to comply with the directive” the minister concluded with a warning.

Following the closure of Kalerwe market over its failure to implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some vendors from the market have started temporary roadside markets along Gayaza road.

In Kyebando, the vendors have occupied two open spaces, tying pieces of string in the selling area, to separate them from the buyers.

Law and Order National

Whistleblower writes to IGG, exposes dirt in Tondeka bus deal

A whistleblower has petitioned the Inspectorate of Government to investigate circumstances under which the ministry of Transport and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) awarded a deal to procure 980 buses from Ashok Leyland, to a single bidder without competitive bidding.

The whistleblower’s dossier, dated February 10, 2020, accuses the ministry of Transport and KCCA of not allowing public participation through open bidding to allow local investors to participate.

This action, says the whistleblower, contravenes all procurement laws and could attract a legal challenge that could cost taxpayers billions.

“All the routes in Kampala Metropolitan Area have been given to this company to run without allowing other interested parties to participate. First of all The Ministry of Transport and /or K.C.C.A did not allow public participation through open bidding to allow our local investors to participate. It looks like this Ashok Leyland was handpicked to supply these buses in total disrespect of public procurement rules. Its subsidiary was also granted all routes to ply to the exclusion of all other players,” notes the whistleblower.

The dossier notes that local bus manufacturers have been denied an opportunity to participate in this project which would have enabled local bus industries to build capacity, expand their industries and provide over 5,000 jobs to Ugandans in the manufacturing industry.

“This Ashok Leyland is getting a lot of support from the government of Uganda of course using public funds by guaranteeing the payment for these buses, giving them designated routes. With the previous trends, this is a dubious transaction that will end in a loss for Ugandans. One wonders why the president has been promoting “BUBU” Buy Uganda, Build Uganda. Why are we not supporting our local investors? Are we our own enemies? Why can’t the Ministry of Finance provide similar incentives to local manufacturers and allow them to make and supply the same buses probably at a lesser cost? Isn’t this a conspiracy of government officials in KCCA, Ministry of Works and Transport and Ministry of Finance to rip off the government and people of Uganda?”

The whistleblower wants the IGG to investigate any acts of corruption and abuse of office intended to enrich individual at the cost of the nation; to bring the culprits to book; to ensure that the project is undertaken in a transparent manner in accordance with the laws and practice of public procurement.

Last month, Peter Kaujju the director communication at KCCA said they expect to have 200 buses under the African Development Bank as a solution to improve public transport by next year.
He said currently, they are experiencing an influx of people coming to settle in the City.

“We are working on all the city roads to reduce on traffic flow. We have trained scouts to help drivers to use the roads correctly because some drivers are not aware of the new changes,”Kaujju said.

The promoters of the buses say they will not only create a clean air supply but also curtail traffic congestion in the city.

The buses will allow transportation around 25 Km radius from the city centre including Kampala-Mukono through Jinja road, Kampala-Nsanji on Masaka Road, Kampala Buloba on Mityana Road, Kampala Wakiso on Hoima Road, Kampala-Matugga on Bombo Road, Kampala- Entebbe and Kampala-Ggaba Road.

National Politics

Munyagwa decisions in parliament that caused fears in top govt officials

Hon Munyagwa Mubarak, The COSASE Committee Chairman has on Tuesday directed the CID to investigate the academic documents of KCCA Physical Planning Director Mr.Moses Atwine for being under qualified to be a KCCA Director.

Committee Chairman, Munyagwa was particularly angered when Mr.Atwine arrogantly said he was appointed by the President and that the president knew his qualifications before appointing him.

Munyagwa wondered how Atwine, a Social Scientist ended up being the City’s Top Planner.

He insisted and argued that the civil engineering diploma that Mr.Atwine holds is insufficient for him to hold the office of Director Engineering for The Capital City as the qualifications for A KCCA Directorate head are clear in the law.

It was also discovered that several government institutions like Parliament were among the bad debtors and an order had been issued by the auditor generation to exempt these institutions of the same debts.

The tough talking Munyagwa asked KCCA acting Director Andrew Kitaka to explain why they had not taken serious action like closing Parliament.

More action is expected as Munyagwa promised to unearth a lot of ROT in KCCA ranging from the illegal appointments of Staff and fraudulent awarding of contracts.

National News

Jennifer Musisi stole my huge amount of money for nothing says Museveni

While Kampala ‘Iron lady’ Jennifer Musisi was in her first ‘honeymoon’ term as the Executive Director of Kampala City Council Authority in 2011, President Yoweri Museveni praised her saying; “Kampala was disorganised,a Centre of dirt and theft but she (Musisi) has cleaned the drainages already.”

However, yesterday while addressing the teachers under their umbrella organisation the Uganda National Teachers’ Union at the President’s office in Kampala, Museveni seemed to regret allocating a huge budget to KCCA.

“I paid Musisi a lot of money to clean up Kampala but she didn’t,” Museveni said as he admitted to have got it wrong.

“It is a simple sin and I can repent it and withdraw all those salaries of the City Council so that we fix salaries of the teachers,” he said.

Jennifer Musisi who is currently a Consultant at the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in the United States of America resigned as the KCCA ED last year on December 18 before she even finished her endorsed third term in office that was supposed to end in April 2020.

Despite Museveni’s comments, Musisi is applauded by many to have changed the face of Kampala City through improving infrastructures like roads, markets, hospital and schools among others.

Meanwhile Museveni assured the teachers that their salary grievances will be soon sorted as they agreed to suspend their strike.