Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has blamed politicians and media for inciting violence against its enforcement officers.
The assertion was made this morning in a meeting between KCCA officials and legislators on the Parliamentary Presidential Affairs Committee.
KCCA had been summoned to answer queries on the brutality meted out against people in Kampala by its enforcement officers, following numerous complaints from members of the public.
In her signed presentation to Parliament, KCCA Executive Director Jenifer Musisi said that in incidences where a community group is to be affected by the enforcement action, the councilors and MPs have been engaged and often times this has resulted into deferment of the enforcement action.
Musisi said that politicians have always backed criminals so as not to erode their political base.
‘There is marked reluctance amongst the political class to support enforcement action as this is perceived as an attempt to erode their political support. This has resulted in politicians becoming hostile and undermining enforcement operations. Some leaders including political leaders incite the public against KCCA enforcement staff as they carry out their duties’, Musisi wrote.
However, it wasn’t only politicians that KCCA attacked, but also members of the Fourth Estate, who were blamed for only covering negative stories, while sidelining the positive achievements of the Authority.
She noted in her document that whereas KCCA has undertaken numerous enforcement actions without incident, these have been ignored.
“In many instances the concerned parties have voluntarily complied with the notices issued to them unfortunately, these instances the concerned parties have voluntarily complied with the notices issued to them unfortunately these instances are not news worthy because the preference if for those rare occasions when the affected people resist our actions even where they have no legal basis whatsoever for doing so but just in the hope that they shall attract public sympathy,” Ms. Musisi wrote.
She also attacked Ugandans for failing to acknowledge the financial contribution made by the ream in which Shs654,255,000 was collected in 2016/2017, by the Law Enforcement Unit, ‘but instead resorted to spreading false propaganda’.
Musisi also argued that most of the stories and videos circulated on social media accusing KCCA staff of atrocities are simply fabricated to tarnish the Institution’s image.
“In our view, many of these allegations against Enforcement Unit are simply a ploy to solicit and attract sympathy from all quarters in the hope that KCCA shall ultimately be hand-tied so that we fail in executing our statutory mandate,” Musisi’s response read in part.
The Authority also argued that the accusations on KCCA have only been one sided, forgetting that some of its Enforcement Officers have suffered the wrath of errant and resistant members of the public, which has resulted in grievous bodily harm and serious injury to their staff.
KCCA pointed out an example of a one Geoffrey Okeny whose skull was allegedly cracked and eye socket shattered when returning from routine exercise
The Authority also denied allegations of impunity among enforcement officers saying that since 2012, a total of 134 enforcement officers have been fired on grounds of indiscipline, absenteeism, extortion and other corrupt practices.
Yet still, the Authority has decried the small number of enforcement officers saying the body needs 481 enforcement assistants to respond to situations in the city.