Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Different parts of Kampala are still littered with campaign posters weeks after the 2021 general elections. In September 2020, candidates vying for various elective positions splashed their campaign posters on buildings, utility poles, trees and roundabouts among others.
The posters were pinned using glue or cassava flour paste to stick on the surface. Other candidates displayed their posters on pieces of wood and nailed them on trees. Now weeks after the elections, the city is still littered with campaign posters.
Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA is mandated to clean the city. Although KCCA has removed posters at major roundabouts and on poles in the city center, many are still visible on buildings. Also where the posters have been removed, the areas have remained dirty because of the paste, glue and torn pieces.
Sula Lago, a resident of Kazo in Kawempe says they have resorted to clearing the posters themselves instead of waiting on KCCA. He says KCCA should have guided politicians on where to display their posters but also to seek consent from owners of the private structures before using their walls.
Dennis Kabuubi who runs a shop in Bwaise says they have started removing the posters despite the fact that they have spoilt the paint. He says when they remove posters, the paint peels off leaving the wall looking ugly.
Jamal Wasswa, a professional painter says KCCA should have guided people on how to put up posters and what to use. He says the glue and cassava flour used to stick posters affects paint especially the weather coat which is mixed using water. He adds that oil and silk paint are friendlier to glue.
Wasswa also says that the manner in which the posters are removed also determines how much effect it causes to the paint. He says the damage can be less if the poster is removed slowly or softened with water before removal.
KCCA spokesperson Daniel NuweAbine says they are using their casual workers to remove the posters and have made progress but the journey is still long since a lot of posters were displayed. He appealed to the public to remove posters on their buildings and in their communities where they can.
NuweAbine says KCCA doesn’t have a special budget to do the cleaning work and are using the available resources to do the job. Previously, politicians were required to pay KCCA Shillings 500 per poster displayed in the city, but in 2016, Parliament suspended the fees describing them as illegal and unconstitutional.
According to the National Physical Planning Standards and Guidelines of 2011, one has to seek permission from local authorities, in this case KCCA to put up any advertisement in the city. However, the Authority has struggled to exercise its mandate.
In September 2020, KCCA issued guidelines for displaying posters which included getting a permit, avoiding junctions, not blocking traffic and security installations among others. However, the guidelines were ignored at the watch of KCCA.