A group of activists has dragged Kampala Capital City Authority to court for shs500 million in connection to an incident early this month in which a lady drowned during heavy rains in the city.
Footage from the police cctv cameras on May 2 captured Cissy Namukasa who was coming from Bugoloobi fall in a trench and was washed away towards Industrial area by fast running water during a heavy down pour.
In a suit where the Attorney General has also been listed as a respondent, Legal Brains Trust, a Kampala based human rights and democracy watchdog avers that KCCA violated Namukasa’s right to life when it failed to make city drainage channels safe for pedestrians.
“The current state of roads, drainage channels, sewers and related infrastructure in Kampala city is demonstrably unsafe and inherently hazardous to city dwellers and thus depicts an egregious culture or policy of non- enforcement of the aforesaid rights by respondents,” the activists say in their suit.
“The respondents have hitherto wrongfully commissioned roads, drainage channels, sewers and related infrastructure with inadequate human safety precautions, for example open manholes that pose a danger to the urban dwellers and vulnerable groups like children, persons with disabilities and mental health problems.”
The activists in the suit say that had it not been for the abrogation of its duties of constructing and maintenance of roads on top of constructing major drains, Namukasa’s right to life would not have been violated.
In the suit, Legal Brains Trust wants court to order KCCA and government at large to multiply their efforts to search and recover Namukasa’s body and accord her a decent burial and erect a memorial at or near the hazardous drainage channel that claimed her life.
The activists aver that the monument should be KCCA’s commitment towards protecting the life and safety of city dwellers .
“A declaration that the delay, refusal or failure by the respondents to put in place and enforce a clear plan to protect city dwellers especially pedestrians from potential loss of life , limb and property as a result of unsafe and hazardous roads , drainage channels, sewers and related infrastructure especially during extreme weather events like flooding in the city is a contravention of the core state obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the rights under the Constitution,” the court documents say.
The activists also want court to issue an order compelling KCCA and government to make a public apology and admit responsibility of their respective failure to protect city dwellers from harm caused by poor a poor drainage system in the city.
“An order to pay compensation to the family of the deceased shs500 million as a result of life of a heroic matriarch and bread winner.”