Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Jennifer Musisi has revealed untold secrets about Law Enforcement Officers in the city.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Presidential Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Musisi defended the legality of these officers, noting that for the City to function well, they need to increase the offices from the current 250 to 481.
In her presentation, Musisi said vetting of all enforcement officers is carried out with support from Uganda Police Force that assesses their suitability for the job.
She noted that the minimum academic requirement for law enforcers is an Advanced Level Certificate.
“In the original staff structure, we provided for 178 enforcement assistants. The current structure has 281 Law Enforcement Assistants. Originally, the candidates undergo two assessments; physical exercises and oral interviews,” Musisi told MPs, adding that the Unit’s strength currently stands at 250 staff and is under the leadership of Senior Superintendent of Police deployed at KCCA as Manager, Security and Enforcement by the Inspector General of Police from amongst his senior staff.
“The number of Law Enforcement Officers is small. We need to effectively and efficiently act and or respond to situations in the city which call for enforcement action. Ideally, our assessment is that a unit of 481 Law Enforcement Assistants backed by the Metropolitan Police would suffice,” Musisi said.
She revealed that trade order management is one of the most controversial law enforcement tools because it hits at the most sensitive core of livelihood and that is the capacity to earn an income, albeit from the streets.
“Where it is a community group or persons to be affected by the enforcement action, then the concerned communities and the local leaders, Councilors and MPs are engaged and often times this has resulted into deferment of the enforcement action to allow an extended time within which the community members can comply or a phased enforcement approach,” she added.
Musisi noted that KCCA has undertaken numerous enforcement actions without incident.
In many instances, the concerned parties have voluntarily complied with the notices issued to them, unfortunately these instances are not news worthy because the preference is for those rare occasions when the affected people resist our actions even where they have no legal basis whatsoever for doing so but just in the hope that they shall attract public sympathy, Musisi said.
She explained that where culpability for unacceptable conduct has been found, appropriate disciplinary sanction has been slapped against concerned staff.
“Since 2012, 134 enforcement officers have been terminated through this process on grounds of indiscipline, absenteeism, extortion and other corrupt practices,” she said.
She further noted that there is marked reluctance amongst the political class to support enforcement action as this is perceived as an attempt to erode their political support.
“This has resulted in politicians becoming hostile and undermining enforcement operations. Some leaders including political leaders incite the public against KCCA enforcement staff as they carry out their duties,” she said, adding: “There have also been a lot of false allegations stories and videos circulated particularly on social media accusing KCCA staff of atrocities which are simply fabricated to tarnish the Institution’s image.”
she revealed that in 2016/2017,”the joint efforts of our Law Enforcement Unit in conjunction with KCCA prosecutors yielded Shs654, 255,000 for Uganda.”