Protesting city street cleaners have said the former Kampala Capital City Executive director Jennifer Musisi was a very good leader who cared for the wellbeing of workers more than the current ones.
The street cleaners who marched from the Division of Rubaga to petition Lukwago, pitched camped at the gate of City Hall after security denied them from access to the premises and were only allowed into the premises on instructions of the Lord Mayor who upon arrival found the gates blocked by the workers.
Amongst the concerns raised by the street cleaners in their petition to the Lord Mayor includes, unfairness in award of cleaning contracts to SACCOS, allegations of insider dealings by KCCA technical staff, minimal wages for days’ work and harsh working conditions including lack of Personal Protective Gears (PPEs) amongst others.
Since last week, over 1,000 street cleaners at KCCA have been protesting unfair treatment by the authority as they demand payment of their Shs150,000 monthly pay which they have not received for the last 3 months.
The aggrieved labourers accused the authorities of refusing to pay their wages and of what they called unfair dismissals from their jobs.
Some of them claimed that they petitioned KCCA Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka, but they have not been helped.
This prompted one of the cleaners to say, “We miss her because the truth is that former KCCA executive director, Jennifer Musisi was a very good leader, a leader who loves her workers and someone who is more caring to the workers.”
The workers are also protesting against the allocation of their tender to other service providers which they fear will leave many of them unemployed. KCCA employs over 1,000 people in various casual jobs.
During the engagement, Lukwago called for an urgent solution to resolve the grievances of casual workers who have been in a protest for the last 3 months over delayed payment among other issues.
He assured the street cleaners that none of them would lose their jobs and accordingly halted the process of awarding the cleaning contracts until the concerns raised in the various petitions are addressed in scheduled meetings with the Minister for Kampala, City Executive committee, Executive Director, Authority Council and other stakeholders.
“In our policy, we have made it categorically clear that the existing casual workers in realigning the contracts, Saccos and streamlining the whole process, we ought to have given these people priority. That was our position and also there remuneration, how to have been addressed,” he said
He explained these people currently are getting little money, adding that there are those who get Shs 6000 which are also subjected to some deductions such as PAYE, NSSF in addition to other personal obligations.
“We find it very unfair. So, going forward we have addressed their concerns, we have listened to them. We have assured them that we are going to have a meeting this Wednesday,” he said
He informed the street cleaners that the reason his administration crafted a Policy which specified award of street cleaning contracts to local SACCOS, was to ensure that the vulnerable poor in the city take up these jobs, this was against the previous practice of contracting companies which turned out to be exploitative since the Companies focused mainly on making profit.
He decried the disorganisation and the ineptness exhibited by the SACCOS Leadership in demanding for their rights and fair treatment, calling on them to stand up and be counted.