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KCCA to revive open bidding for city cleaning contract

City Hall changing position on cleaning contracts.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has proposed that a service provider contracted to clean the city shall be awarded a 12-month contract which is renewable only once upon satisfactory performance.

For close to ten years, cleaning services in Kampala have been provided by divisional Savings and Credit Cooperative Society-SACCOS which were formed in 2014 on the advice of the then KCCA Executive Director Jenifer Musisi who wanted City cleaners to use SACCOs to save, get loans and earn interest on their money.

But since their inception, these SACCOS have not been subjected to an open bidding process and have received contracts less than thrice. The contracts were automatically renewed to allow SACCOs to continue their operations.

However, a proposed policy to streamline the reservation scheme for providing cleaning, landscaping and de-silting services in Kampala KCCA is pushing for removal of automatic renewal of contracts.

The Secretary for Finance and Administration at KCCA John Mary Ssebuwufu says that the new policy proposes that any successful bidder is awarded twelve months which can be renewed only once upon satisfactory performance.

He says that there are a number of deliverables that shall be used to assess the performance of the contractors and determine the renewal of the contract. The contractors are expected to deliver on three broad aspects, keeping the streets clean, drainage channels desilting, the green being maintained and the City looking green and beautiful.

A contractor, having served for two years shall be required to compete again with other SACCOS in an open bidding process conducted by KCCA.

Ssebuwufu says, just like it has been, SACCOS shall be made of vulnerable groups like women people living with HIV among others. He says the new policy categorizes the cleaning services into two, cleaning and landscaping and desilting and that a SACCOS can apply for both services.

A source at KCCA says the limit in years was introduced for effective monitoring and evaluation of the SACCOS providing the services. They say that having SACCOS operate for all those years thought subjecting them to another bidding process made them reluctant and failed to deliver on their mandate sometimes.

According to a report by the Streamlining Committee set up by the office of the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago to assess the reservation scheme under which SACCOs operated, the groups failed to conduct annual meetings and also to effectively manage their finances, invest and share profits as had been anticipated by KCCA when they were formed.

The Deputy Speaker of KCCA, Nasur Masaba says that the operations of the cleaners in Kampala need proper guidelines to govern them for effective service delivery. He says that having a policy will help them streamline operations of City Cleaners as the authority plans to introduce an ordinance about city cleaning services in Kampala.

Lubaga North 1 Councilor Jeremiah Keeya Mwanje says that it’s important for the Authority to have a c clear way of dealing with City cleaners. He says that some cleaners have given up on work because KCCA hasn’t pronounced itself onward of contract yet they see a new group of people carrying out the same kind of work like them.

The proposed policy also introduces SACCOs based on constituencies and not division as it has been. This has been done to allow for more services providers to bid but also for better implementation and monitoring of service delivery based on the parish development level.

The policy further provides that SACCO Members should be residents of Kampala, with at least 90% of the members from the respective Division. The SACCOS shall also be fully responsible for the welfare of its members including payment of wages, medical treatment related to work hazards, burial expenses and insurance payments.

Council will constitute a committee of the whole house to discuss the policy.

Meanwhile, the move comes at a time when there are two types of cleaning entities on the street doing the same job. In 2020, Seven Hills group started cleaning Kampala, first as volunteers and later demanded payment.

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