Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has started assessing the performance of casual workers in the five city divisions ahead of the renewal of their contracts.
A team of inspectors from the Directorate of Public Health visited different places in Kawempe division on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Nakawa division on Thursday. Jude Byansi, the Manager for Waste and Sanitation in KCCA says that the evaluation process last conducted in 2017 will assess the performance of the workers in terms of quality and amount of work done.
The process follows the expiry of the contracts that KCCA gave to community SACCOs in the five divisions to provide cleaning, landscaping and engineering services on September 15th, 2021. The SACCO members are threatened by the arrival of 7 Hills, which started as a volunteer group in March 2021 only to start recruiting casual workers in a bid to secure the same contract.
Aisha Nampeera, a single mother of three, says that her job with KCCA as a sweeper is her only source of income. Nampeera narrates how she has endured work hazards including accidents to keep her job and earn a living for her family.
She wants KCCA to evaluate the performance of all workers and in case some are found to be underperforming, they are handled separately instead of victimizing all of them.
Shamim Namukose, a widow with five children is also worried about losing her job and their SACCOs being closed. She is concerned that if the SACCOs contract is not renewed, the SACCOs might be forced to close leaving them without access to cheap loans.
Umar Kato, a garbage loader says KCCA should assess the conditions under which they operate. He says sometimes they are constrained by inefficient equipment. For instance, he says they delay picking garbage and silt drainage channels because there are only 4 garbage trucks in Kawempe division.
John Atuhaire who desilts drainage channels has also asked KCCA to extend their contract, saying that his job with KCCA is the only source of income for his family of two wives and six children. Atuhaire says that they have braved poor working conditions to earn some money however meagre it is so as to sustain their families.
He explained how sometimes they desilt drainages without the required protective gear like gumboots, overalls and gloves hence exposing themselves to health hazards. Atuhaire says KCCA should engage with the casual labourers to understand the challenges they face and find a solution that benefits both sides.
KCCA first contracted community SACCOs’ on a two years contract in 2016. Upon expiry in 2018, they continued to work with KCCA paying salaries directly to the workers’ bank accounts. In January 2020, they were issued an 18 months contract, which expired in June 2021.
They then secured a two and a half month’s extension on 1st July 2021, which ended on September 15th, 2021. KCCA casual workers are employed under a reservation scheme targeting old people especially women, widows, women living with HIV and single mothers. The 7 Hills group is predominantly young men.