Street vendors before KCCA chased them off the streets
The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has defended the decision to deploy both the Army and Police to conduct the chasing away of street vendors off the streets saying the decision was intended to avoid incidences of torture and violence used by the Authority enforcement officers.
The remarks were made by Caleb Mugisha, Acting Director Legal AT KCCA while appearing before Parliament’s Committee on Human Rights that is investigating complaints of torture meted on Ugandans by government agencies and security agencies.
“KCCA is a government agency, KCCA isn’t another Government but an entity under the central government. We all work for the same government and so does police. You must understand that whatever KCCA does, we draw our powers and responsibilities from the Central government, we don’t work alone,”Mugisha said.
His remarks were in response to a question posed by Milton Muwama (Kigulu South MP), who questioned about the chain of command the KCCA enforcement officers follow because reports have emerged of them clashing with Police and army during the decongestion exercise.
“I have seen recently, you do parallel deployment of Police and KCCA who gives who the instructions and the chain of command?” asked Muwama.
Mugisha told Parliament that in the latest decongestion exercise, KCCA created a joint force that involves crime intelligence, Police after realizing that the problem on Kampala streets had laid fertile ground for criminal activity.
“That is why you realize that in this present operation, there has been little or no reports of human rights violations because most of the people trained in the field are trained officers,” explained Mugisha.
Deputy Executive Director KCCA, David Luyimbazi doubled down on defending army and police deployment in Kampala saying, that there have been disagreements in the past that when KCCA carries out enforcement alone, there have been incidences of chaos but when we call in police.
“It helps watch over our enforcement officers to ensure they work within the law. That is why this latest operation has been very clean and very gentle, it is only those that have been violent that suffered and those who weren’t violent didn’t suffer,” said Luyimbazi.
According to KCCA, most of the human rights violations within the city fall under Gender Based Violence with 220 cases including 161 females and 59 males reporting between 2020-2022 and most of these (111) are recorded at health centers operated by KCCA.