Open memo to KCCA contractor Abu Bakar Technical Services
The name of the company is Abu-Baker Technical Services and General Supplies Limited (elsewhere, we refer to them as Abu-Baker Ltd). They were contracted by Kampala Capital City Authority to construct omwala (drainage canal) on Bajja Baseka Road in Kirokole Zone of Kawempe Division.
Abu-Baker Ltd, you started by excavating earthworks without any attempt to engage the community on the social and economic impacts of the contract. And your site management is conducted by people who do not seem to appreciate such things. That is how we (the community) have ended up as the unfortunate victims bearing the brunt of your deficiencies and inefficiencies.
Instead of compartmentalising the project into segments between inspection chambers of the canal, you decided to excavate the entire length of the canal (and in the process, denied the continued safe usage of the road).
Your workers are even moving the excavated earth in or unto privately owned properties. They have even blocked one of the access lanes to Bajja Baseka Road by depositing excavated soil on it. Your engagement with the community was poor.
I went to the Registrar of Companies to check who Abu-Baker Ltd are. I also checked your website and later entered the name of your company in the Internet search engines. I also used other guerrilla field craft tactics to find more about you…; but the publication of my findings is for another day.
Disturbed by your very poor contract execution, I called an acquaintance at Kampala Capital City Authority, who immediately interested KCCA’s project management team in my issues with you. So, on October 6, we had a small meeting with a fellow from KCCA’s project management, and Musa Ssebulime from Abu-Baker Ltd and I. In the meeting, Ssebulime promised to remove all the excavated soil to enable the community to use the road again.
Dear reader, I am writing this line at 15.48 hours of Thursday October 12 when the excavated soil is still heaped on the road and the community does not have vehicular access to the road.
At 10.14 hours on Wednesday, October 11, I called Andrew Kitaka, the director of engineering at City Hall. Kitaka, who apologised and expressed regret over the issue, promised to sort out the problem the next day. “That’s a small project, it is not supposed to have social impact issues,’ Kitaka assured me.
At 16.23 hours of Wednesday, October 11, I called Kitaka again. He told me he had raised the issue with you (Abu-Baker Ltd) and had sent a one John Mary Kawesa (from KCCA’s Project Management) to sort the issue. We had another meeting attended by John Mary Kawesa (KCCA), Musa (Abu-Baker Ltd) and the KCCA project consultant (did not pick his name). We agreed that by the end of Thursday, October 12, the contractor should find ways of making sure safe vehicular locomotion is restored on the road.
We also agreed that Abu-Baker Ltd should engage the community about the project. And that they should follow minimum standards of site management like the provision of protective gear to all workers.
I spent the whole of Thursday home awaiting the all-clear from Abu-Baker Ltd so I can remove my car and park it elsewhere for a fee. And it is a wasted day because Abu-Baker Ltd have not cleared the road for vehicular use.
Of course, I do not care about the losses we are undergoing. But make no mistake, I will pursue Abu-Baker Ltd until they pay for the inconvenience they caused me and my community. Whether it means going to the Inspectorate of Government, the Apex Court or the Royal Enclosure (State House), I will soldier on.
Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of East African Flagpost.