The Executive Director KCCA has clarified that KCCA cleaners jobs are secure. Kisaka was responding to the recent protests that took place expressing dissent by some sections of the cleaners.
Since 2016, KCCA has used the PPDA recommended reservation schemes guidelines, to recruit cleaners for cleaning the city. The law provides for the inclusion of local communities including registered small and medium enterprises and business ventures. KCCA pioneered this inclusion by enabling the creation of SACCOS for city dwellers who might not have completed formal education, and youth who havent accessed formal employment. Other vulnerable members of the community are also considered. Currently there are SACCOS in all the five divisions in Kampala.
Since 2022, KCCA embarked on evaluation and reassessement of the existing SACCOs. The goal was to ensure best performance and value for money and to weed out any malpractices. The Council of the Authority at City Hall, considered, approved and passed the revised policy on cleaning services at KCCA in June 2022. The policy aims at strengthening the communities by providing jobs to the most vulnerable in society through reservation schemes. The major revision was that the SACCOS be formed at the constituency level. In effect this increases the SACCOS to ten in number as opposed to the original five. It also enables the city to be cleaned more effectively by more workers.
The KCCA technical team commenced the implementation of the policy through the KCCA procurement processes. The process includes inviting bids, evaluation and contracting the successful bidders. However, when the results were declared dissent and protests started with the central division.
On Monday 27th February, some cleaners converged at City Hall protesting the procurement outcomes. The dissent and restlessness is caused by the entry of new SACCOS in the playing feild. The SACCOS who have operated in the space as a monopoly do not want the entry of new comers or competitors.
The new comers are known as Seven Hills who comprise largely a group of reformed young men and women who used to loiter the streets with no gainful employement. With the support of KCCA, these young people reorganised and have taken on meaningful work in city. During the covid period, KCCA formed them into cleaning gangs under the Smart City Campaign. Their job was to unblock drainages at all the dark spots in the city. Under the supervision of the waste solid management team, they worked day and night with boundless energy and responded to every crisis in the city during the lockdown. They were called upon where there were floods, fallen trees and buildings and they responded. With time, they organised themselves into a small scale organisation known as Seven Hills and created SACCOS to empower their members to save. Right now these hitherto unemployed youth have proper identification with bank accounts. Thus Seven Hills is seen as a threat to the old SACCOS.
Fortunately, KCCA has enough work to occupy old and new teams, the total of the workforce is over 4,500. There is enough work for everyone and no jobs will be lost.
The older SACCOS have exercised their rights and filed a petition with the Accounting officer to protest the results of the bids. That is a welcome move as opposed to the riots. There is room in the law to handle the petitions. The idea behind the reservation schemes is that the jobs will go to the most vulnerable and not for profiteering.
KCCA is therefore going to commence an administrative review in accordance with PPDA law to ensure justice is done for all. The KCCA leaders at division levels are in charge of this cleaning function with the Town Clerks as contract managers. This matter will be peacefully resolved
The SACCOS methodology promotes a savings culture and enable groups to access available opportunities. All registered Sacco members must have a government identity and a banking account. Through these SACCOS, KCCA is promoting the culture of inclusiveness of all stakeholders in the city irrespective of their background and political leaning. The basic criteria is that you live where you work. The SACCOS ensure that more people are entering the money economy in accordance with government policy announced in the NRM manifesto.