Kampala traders under the umbrella body of Kampala Arcaders Traders Association (KATA) have given the government 14 days to withdraw the decision that was passed by the Cabinet extending the contracts of private garbage collectors by one year.
The contracts of the said garbage collectors were meant to expire on the 14th of June but they received an extension early this week.
In the new contracts the companies, which include Nabugabo Up Deal Joint Venture, Homeklin Services (U) LTD and Kampala Solid Waste Management Consortium LTD shall collect garbage on condition that Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) shall be the one to determine the floor and ceiling of the charges.
Addressing the press at Sekaziga Plaza today Godfrey Katongole, the KATA chairperson, said that traders would not pay the collection fee unless these contracts have been nullified.
“They hike charges. Their current contracts with KCCA stipulate that they must charge between UGX 3,000 – UGX 3,0000 depending on one’s business but they charge between UGX 20,000 and UGX 100,000, a fee we don’t understand,” he said.
Katongole added that the methods the collectors use while demanding their fees are sometime brutal and unlawful. The traders want the government to let them control the process of garbage collection by themselves.
“If the government does not have the capacity to collect garbage from our premises, then it should let us (the traders) do it by ourselves,” he said, adding: “No individual trader shall pay the fee to these companies unless they have a contract with them”
Katongole said that if the fourteen days elapse when nothing is done, a section of traders will storm the city hall to express their grievances to KCCA whom they say was the leading player in extending these company’s contracts.
“We are starting by writing the petition to the President but incase the two weeks elapse when nothing has changed, we shall find other means of expressing our grievances”
While briefing the media on Tuesday, Beti Namisango Kamya the Minister for Kampala said that KCCA and her ministry had made thorough consultations across all stakeholders including the Kampala Arcarders Traders Association (KATA) before presenting the report to the cabinet which it (cabinet) based on to make the final decision over the matter.