Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA is considering the temporary suspension of the collection of fees from its markets and Parks, the City Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago has revealed. He was speaking during the COVID 19 sensitization campaign in Usafi Market on Monday afternoon.
Lukwago said he had a meeting with some KCCA technical officials and agreed that they temporarily suspend the collection of fees from markets and Parks to enable management to buy the facilities needed to fight against COVID 19. Last week, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed owners of public facilities like markets, Parks and commercial structures like arcades to provide handwashing facilities or sanitizers and temperature measuring facilities for people to use before accessing these premises.
Lukwago says KCCA cannot afford to install such facilities at all its facilities and therefore said the people in these places need to be empowered through the temporary suspension of fees such that they can be able to avail of the required facilities using the money saved from fees. Lukwago says the decision will be discussed in Council on March 30th for ratification and implementation.
“We have discovered from our meetings and engagements we have had internally with the task force and the technical team, it may not be feasible for us to buy the guns (temperature monitoring machines) for all the facilities. So as a temporary measure we have suspended collection of rent in our facilities like markets, from the taxi parks from all these other facilities to give them leeway to build their own capacity to provide these required facilities specifically the temperature monitoring facilities, the guns…,” said Lukwago
Musa Muleme, the Chairman Usafi market told URN that they haven’t received any communication regard the KCCA proposal. He says currently they are using the handwashing facilities that were provided by the Lord Mayor. The KCCA Peter Kaujju said for the authority to suspend the collection of fees as proposed by Lukwago, the technical people would also have to sit and discuss the matter.
Kaujju also said KCCA doesn’t collect fees from Taxi parks. The Authority used to collect about Shillings 1.2 billion monthly when taxis paid monthly Shillings 120,000 monthly. The collections were suspended by the president in 2010 following a petition by taxi operators that they were chocking on fees and taxes from different agencies.
Kaujju said while they are still working to see that the collection resumes, it hasn’t started yet and hence no money is coming from Taxi parks. About the market fees, Kaujju said they collect very little money that usually goes into footing utility bills like water and electricity. He couldn’t confirm the amount collected per month.
Usafi has 1200 stalls and 108 lock-ups. Vendors pay Shillings 6500 monthly for the stalls and Shillings 13,000 for lock-ups although about half the spaces are occupied. Vendors in Wandegeya Market that has 1200 working spaces pay between Shillings 50,000 and 100,000. Kaujju also said that so far they have installed about 60 big tanks in different parts of Kampala including parks and markets.
He, however, said without revealing their budget that the Authority cannot fully finance the installation of hand washing facilities and temperature measuring machines in all places and revealed that they are looking at partnering with Water Aid Uganda other institutions like National Water and Sewerage Cooperation to provide more facilities across Kampala. Apart from markets and parks, KCCA has to install handwashing facilities and in some case temperature measuring machines at public parks, offices, and streets.