Dear KCCA, I want to guide as follows.
Kampala is full of informal structures that were constructed without your permission. In fact, these informal settlements provide housing for over 90% of your staff. You’d have no workers and your offices would close if you decided to clear all illegal structures from the city today. The emperor is naked. Lucky enough, the informal houses are not about to collapse. Therafaaa, buildings do not collapse because they lack construction permits. Just find a better excuse. Take responsibility for once.
You know that buildings are collapsing because of corruption. You also know that corruption thrives where access to a legitimate social service is frustrated by a series of obstacles, and that this is typical of the processes we go through to acquire building permits from you.
I mean, when it takes a developer over 6 months and 50 million shillings in informal settlements to secure a construction permit, as if a construction permit increases rental income, when all you desire is to find fault so that you can have a chance to ask for bribes, when you don’t see developers as your clients and partners in city development that deserve your special care and support, buildings will continue to collapse.
You’ll also not win in the fight against illegal infrastructure developments. I’m assuming that winning is your goal. Your performance shows contrary. Your motivation is to find fault and frustrate a client into paying you bribes.
I know you won’t be happy about this message. But I need to live in a city that is safe for all. There is no developer in the city who doesn’t want to follow the right procedures to be on the legitimate side of things. It’s their money and legacies on the line always. It’s developers that have everything to lose always. Just consider how deeply terrifying you’ve got to be for someone to avoid you and continue to spend billions of shillings developing an illegal structure meters away from your offices.
So, when a developer has sourced for funds to develop a property, if you understand the cost of money in your market, you need to change your approach and get into the mode of helping them win if you want to prevail in planning for the city.
Here are my suggestions that you can adopt to stop corruption (remove obstacles) and attract developers to have faith in you;
1. Digitize approval processes with a good information management tool that tracks work flow and helps tell which staff of kcca is not delivering. Make this process transparent and have consultants to handle technical reviews. Benchmark on the ICT tool managing the city of Mumbai.
2. Because the approval process must take a short time, partner with the architectural and engineering institutions to provide a pool of professionals who will be given work to improve designs when the first submissions are found inadequate. Clients won’t find problems facilitating this activity since it will be accelerating the approval process. Paying design consultants has never been the problem of developers.
3. As part of the approval process, provide a requirement that the developer has a binding contract for construction supervision with a project manager who is a qualified architect or engineer. The project manager must update the project account created in the information management ICT tool on approval and KCCA is alerted by the tool on when they’re to inspect the site and validate the reporting of the project managers.
Otherwise, all the interaction we currently get with your staff are about asking for money and projecting threats of total darkness if we don’t pay. In fact, we hate dealing with you. It doesn’t have to feel this way. We can be friends and partners. You can’t build this city without us.
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