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KCCA & Metropolitan Affairs on Trade Order, Development Control, Solid Waste Collection and Law Enforcement in Kampala City.

Thursday, November 1, 2018



Good morning colleagues,
On behalf of my Ministry and Kampala Capital City Authority, I would like to address you and the city on Trade Order, Development Control, Solid Waste Collection and Law Enforcement in Kampala Capital City.

During the visit of His Excellency te President to Kampala Capital City last month, the public raised a number of concerns with His Excellency the President. The public requested him to do among others, the following;

a) Stop the collection of solid waste collection fees;

b) Direct landlords in the city to allow the public to access toilets free of charge;

Following His Excellency’s visit, I was directed to prepare Cabinet Memoranda on the issues raised which we have already done.
In the meantime, I would like to address you on the matters highlighted above;

The management of Trade Order, Development Control, Solid Waste among others in the city is the mandate of Kampala Capital City Authority. In this regard, I do hereby direct the general public to comply with the relevant laws, that is ,Ordinances, Regulations and byelaws of the city.

In a bid to achieve trade order in the City, KCCA has for last seven years been arresting and prosecuting street vendors, impounding their trade items as well constantly surveilling the streets to ensure that they are free of vendors.

However, one of the major challenges faced in fighting this vice is that the general public in the city continues to support the illegal activities of vendors and hawkers by continuing to buy their merchandise inspite having knowledge that this practice is condemned by the law.

KCCA has been making effort to establish the reasons attracting vendors onto the streets which include:

  1. The streets offer easy clientele as opposed to a formal trading environment, sometimes located many metres from the road.
  2. Avoiding payment of market dues and license fees.
  3. Vendors want to take advantage of seasonal events (e.g Christmas season) when there are many shoppers looking for cheap items.
  4. Most of the vendors seek to sale substandard and expired items which may not easily be displayed on the shelves in a formal trading environment.
  5. Anxiety of some traders who have a lot of old stock, which they can’t dispose of, but instead give to vendors to sell cheaply on the streets.
  6. Political activity by councilors and other leaders who support street vending on the basis that the vendors need to make a living.
  7. Over the past years, there has been an influx of people into the City in search of employment, who may not be amply qualified for any formal employment and yet have no sufficient capital for formal business. Majority of these get involved in Illegal Street vending for lack of sufficient alternatives.

The obvious consequence in condoning this illegal activity is congestion on the street pavements, vehicular traffic and other associated vices like pick-pocketing, littering of streets etc. In addition to that, the activity has adverse effects, especially on the formal traders operating in shops from whom KCCA collects trade license fees which contributes to the revenue that is used to run the city. This has attracted numerous complaints from the business community.

With KCCA’s enforcement of the law by persistently taking action to remove vendors from the street, there has been progress in terms of;

  1. significant reduction of garbage and waste along the city streets;
  2. Pedestrian walkways are free of congestion and the public can now use the pavements without competing for space;
  3. Traffic flow has been greatly eased;
  4. Market revenues have increased as many vendors have gone back to the markets;
  5. Reduced incidences of pick-pocketing and petty crime which was a consequence of the numerous numbers of street idlers;
  6. Shops and other trade premises (KACITA businesses) are now visible and easily accessed by their customers.

For the urgent need of order and promotion of a clean and competitive city, KCCA strongly condemns street vending. KCCA has consistently urged street vendors to take up space in the formal markets in the City so as to enable them to conduct their trade in accordance to the law and without inconvenience.

The following Interventions have been made by KCCA in attempt to solve the vending challenge;

  1. KCCA has increased work spaces in the markets in attempt to absorb street vendors;
  2. The market rates have been greatly reduced to make it affordable for low income earners to own a market stall;
  3. Introduction of Sunday markets to accommodate those without formal trading spaces;
  4. KCCA is in the process of constructing more markets and has also purchased land to expand existing markets; and
  5. The youth livelihood project has also helped provide assistance for youths who have been able to organize themselves in teams to access loans to finance economic activities.

The authority urges the general public to take up the available alternatives as highlighted above as opposed to engaging in risky illegal street trading. Subject to availability of resources, the authority is committed to creating more affordable work spaces to accommodate all street vendors for a better city.

In 2012, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) took steps to improve the solid waste management (SWM) services in the city through engagement of the private sector and the possible commercial utilization of refuse products.
Whereas the waste collection and transport was contracted to local private companies under a PPP arrangement throughout the city since 2016, KCCA still provides the same service in critical public premises and some pockets of informal settlements. On the contrary, waste disposal and treatment at the Kiteezi landfill site is still fully financed and managed by KCCA

The primary sources of municipal solid waste (MSW) generation are private households, transient population, market places, commerce, industry, public administration, kindergartens & schools, hospitals and tourists to be covered by the municipal waste collection system.

The Kampala City Council Solid Waste Management Ordinance of 2000, mandates KCCA and its agents to ensure that solid waste in Kampala is collected and conveyed to treatment installations to satisfy both public health and environmental conservation requirements.

Kampala is subdivided into 7 Solid Waste Management service zones managed by 3 concessionaires that were acquired through a bidding process. KCCA is responsible for waste collection, transport, safe disposal and treatment in Kampala City. However, the Kampala Solid Waste Management Ordinance (2000) mandates KCCA to contract services of private parties (as delegated agents) to invest and undertake business operations along the waste management chain. This mandate has been strengthened by the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) act of 2015 which leverages a private sector driven environment in key service delivery sectors of government.

Data from Kiteezi landfill suggests that the actual waste transported to the site is approximately 1,300 tons/day. Approximately 50% is collected by KCCA and the rest (i.e. 33%) is collected by the private operators. Based on the various laws regulating solid waste management and the polluter pays principle, a fee was levied on the collection of solid waste ranging from UGX 3,000 to UGX 30, 000 depending on the frequency of collection of waste and amount of waste generated.

We have heard complaints about the capacity of the private sector to manage this service and we raised the various issues to the concessionaires. As a result, we have seen a steady increase in the percentage of waste collected by the private sector raising from 35% to 52% and KCCA falling from 65% to 48%.

I therefore urge the following;

  1. As responsible citizens we need to take responsibility for the garbage we generate and pay for its collection.
  2. Local leaders should encourage communities to segregate their waste at source and mobilize communities to responsibly manage their waste;
  3. The Concessionaires should be allowed to execute their contracts without undue interference from any section of the public.


We have witnessed an upsurge in illegal development in the city and we do condemn the same. We would like to state that it is illegal to develop any property in the city without formal approval.

We would like to encourage the general public to comply with the Building Rules and Physical Planning laws and regulations.

Under KCCA, the scope and breadth of the responsibilities of the Enforcement cover the following:

  1. control of public nuisances;
  2. waste and sanitation compliance;
  3. control of noise pollution;
  4. monitoring billboards and display of all advertisements in public places;
  5. curbing illegal street trading/vending;
  6. revenue collection enforcement;
  7. development control compliance;
  8. stray animal impounding;
  9. Street parking control;
  10. green-belt control, among others.

KCCA Law Enforcement mandate

KCCA exercises both those functions spelt out in its constituting legislation (the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010), as well as the “national and council laws, policies, regulations, byelaws, programmes and projects” which the Executive Director is responsible for implementing as part of her functions under Section 19.

Under Section 7 of the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010, the Authority is responsible for, among others,

  1. carrying out physical planning and development control,
  2. organizing and managing traffic, and
  3. maintenance of law and order,

Additional functions and services for which the Authority is responsible are set out in Parts A, B and C of the Third Schedule.

The control and maintenance of trade law/order, as well as the function to carry out physical planning and development control are the major areas where our enforcement teams interact with the public. The specific statutory provisions that confer our mandate in these areas include:

• Section 7 (k) and the Third Schedule paragraph 3 (a) of the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010 - which provide that KCCA is responsible for carrying out physical planning and development control; and that the Authority shall prohibit, restrict, regulate or license the use of any part of a street or public place for the purpose of carrying out any trade, business or profession.

Development Control and Trade Order Management are the most controversial law enforcement areas because these affect the majority of city residents who are defiant in complying with the set rules and regulations.

Forceful enforcement remains a last resort by KCCA where all courtesies and entreaties have been adamantly ignored and/or abused.

We believe that a culture of compliance is progressively being restored and shall be achieved because the community has come to understand that KCCA does not condone lawlessness and impunity.

  • Rules 4 and 6 of the Public Health (Building) Rules, SI 281–1 which require that any person intending to erect a building must do so with the prior approval of the local authority. A ‘building’ is defined in the Public Health Act, Cap 281 as “any structure whatsoever whether permanent or temporary for whatsoever purpose used”.
  • Section 33 of the Physical Planning Act, 2010 – which provides that a person shall not carry out a development without obtaining development permission from a physical planning committee. KCCA has a duly constituted physical planning committee which performs the functions vested in it under this Act, including considering applications for development permission.

Where a development is carried out without the required permission, an Enforcement Notice issues to the owner, occupier or developer of the land to comply with the commands set out in the Notice – refer to section 46 Physical Planning Act.

A notice explains the reason it has been issued and requires the developer, owner or occupier of the property, building or land to show cause why they should not remove or demolish the building within the specified time frame.

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.

Some of the incident-free enforcement actions undertaken include the removal of kiosks and shanty structures from the taxi parks, removal of kiosks and shanty buildings in several areas.

  • Pursuant to section 72 of the Public Health Act Cap.281, the local authority (read KCCA) has the power to require removal of illegal structures upon notice to them and if they neglect or refuse to comply with the commands in the notice then the removal can be done by KCCA.
  • Paragraph 13(1), Kampala City Council (Maintenance of Law & Order) Ordinance, 2006 – which provides that a person shall not ply his or her trade on any pavement, footway, street, unoccupied land, or other public space.

Inspite of the existence of ample enabling legislation on development control and trade order, Kampala continues to experience mushrooming unplanned developments and getting out of control; and almost all public spaces being taken up as trade premises thereby inhibiting mobility in the city.

We still contend that KCCA needs a strong enforcement arm, to save the city from the following:

  • Kiosks and other shanty structures being erected in the road reserves and other public areas.
  • The taxi parks becoming markets, to the inconvenience of the travelling public.
  • Pavements becoming trade areas, thereby inhibiting free movement in the streets.
  • Incompatible developments coming adjacent to each other e.g. a lodge next to a school, night clubs in residential areas, etc.
  • Unapproved developments coming up all over the place and in many cases resulted into obstruction of public areas to the inconvenience of the rest.
  • Structures were being erected without parking provision thereby aggravating the congestion in the city.
  • Poor or no sanitation measures even in the hospitality sector, which poses very grave dangers to public health.

The focus of KCCA is therefore rightly directed at effective enforcement so as to uplift the image of the city, and improve the wellbeing of the citizens.

The major operations are usually planned, scheduled and coordinated with the Uganda Police Force so that there is improved efficiency. The instructing directorate takes the lead in planning and coordinating the activity so that there is technical guidance at all stages of the process so as to avoid overreach.

Challenges encountered in taking enforcement action

  1. The various enforcement activities rely heavily on the Uganda Police Force for security purposes yet the said force is sometimes overstretched and cannot always provide the necessary manpower in a timely manner leading to the postponement and/or abandonment of certain operations. We have also had the challenge of the Uganda Police Force being non-responsive on account of certain undercurrent political sentiments.
  2. It is worth noting that whereas Sec.26 of the Kampala Capital City Act, 2010 provides for a Metropolitan Police Force for the Capital City, to-date, the said police force has not been created or appointed.
  3. This failure to appoint the said police force is a recurrent annual audit query raised by the Auditor General for which we still have to address.
  4. The number of Law Enforcement Officers is small to effectively cover the entire city. We need to effectively and efficiently act and/or respond to situations in the city in a timely manner.
  5. There is a marked reluctance amongst the political leaders 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.
  6. The general public feigns ignorance of the law thus resisting all attempts to enforce the same. We have engaged the public on revenue collection matters, physical planning and public health concerns to improve on their compliance.

The general public is encouraged to comply with the guidance
rendered above and the Law Enforcement team is directed to
scale-up law enforcement immediately.

Hon. Beti Kamya Turwomwe