Kampala City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has said that the more President Yoweri Museveni delays in appointing a full director of Physical Planning for Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) the more the city is going to have substandard buildings which will end up taking people’s’ lives.
According to Lukwago, Moses Atwine Kananiira was the director for physical planning at KCCA but his contract expired a long time ago and he left the authority. After his departure, he was replaced by his Deputy Ivan Katongole but in the acting capacity, unfortunately, Katongole is currently on remand in Kitalya prison since August on allegations that he okayed the demolition of St Peter’s Church of Uganda Ndeeba.
Lukwago added that since the office is now vacant, a lot of constructions are going on in Kampala and most of them are operating on fake architectural plans since the office authorising and approving plans is closed.
“I don’t know why President Museveni is taking all that long to appoint another substantive city Physical Planning director as the law states. It’s only here in Uganda where a city can run without the director of physical planning, the city is facing a lot of challenges, you see floods, buildings are collapsing and no one to answer for this, yet the law requires that as soon as the director retires or his contract expires, he/she must be replaced but in KCCA this office is empty,” he said.
Lukwago went ahead and defended the political wing of the authority saying that their power to appoint is less, however, he, city councillors and other mayors have tried to strengthen the building control systems provided for under the Building Control Act of 2013 and the 2020 Regulations.
“As politicians, we have tried to reinforce planning and construction supervision in the city including appointing some Councillors at the KCCA Building Control Board but without a substantive physical planning director, efforts to streamline the construction sector will not yield much. This is why we need President Museveni to come out and appoint a new director on Physical Planning to strengthen this technical wing as soon as possible,” he said.
Lukwago’s call follows the collapse of a four-storeyed building in Makindye Division on Friday night and according to Police eight (08) people are suspected to be trapped in the basement.
The building belongs to a one Kagolo, a Businessman in Kikuubo. So far two KCCA officials have been arrested to help with investigations, these include the Makindye Division Physical Planner Achom Anne and Building Inspector Joseph Balikuddembe.
“It is alleged that the KCCA officials currently detained at Katwe Police Station, learnt about the ongoing construction in that place without an approved plan. Achom and Balikuddembe allegedly went to the site and issued a notice to stop the construction but later on, they went and removed it and allowed them to proceed. We are still looking for the owner of the building and his engineers,” said Patrick Onyango the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson.
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