According to the disbursement list, over Shillings 23.6 million has been sent to Makindye Division Community Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Limited, Shillings 11.56 million to Rubaga, Shillings 25.6 million to Kawempe, Shillings 14.69 million to Nakawa and Shillings 23.7 million to the Central Division Community Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Limited.
Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has
disbursed over Shillings 99
million for the payment of volunteers
under the Seven Hills group for the month of August. The funds have been sent to accounts of division
community SACCOS, which provide cleaning, landscaping and engineering services
correspondences seen by our reporter, Ivan Kiirya, the Supervisor Treasury at KCCA notifies the town clerks in divisions and other KCCA
officials about the
transfer of funds for Seven Hills Initiative. "Below are funds sent to the Sacco division
accounts to take care of the casuals for seven hills for further management," the email sent on Sept 28th,
2021 reads in part.
According to the disbursement list, over Shillings
23.6 million has been sent to Makindye Division Community Cooperative Savings
and Credit Society Limited, Shillings 11.56 million to Rubaga, Shillings 25.6
million to Kawempe, Shillings 14.69 million to Nakawa and Shillings 23.7
million to the Central Division Community Cooperative Savings and Credit
is no government policy on volunteering with government agencies and KCCA has
not communicated any contractual agreement it has with Seven Hills hence
attracting questions among division leaders. The Lubaga Division Town Clerk, Thomas Ssentongo has since written back saying that "Contractual terms and
obligations have to be discussed so that all of us are on the same page."
the same breath, the
Nakawa division Town Clerk, Denis
Omodi also wrote back to Kiirya on October 5th, 2021 asking for a copy of the contract
agreement between KCCA and Seven Hills that warrants the payment. "The 7 Hill group MUST be registered as
members of the Nakawa Causal workers Sacco in order for us to pay them," he said.
notes that for Seven Hills to be paid through the SACCO account, they
must present themselves for verification and come along with their bank account
number, NSSF number, two passport photos and original National IDs.
"As Nakawa, I propose that as we await the
agreement, a comprehensive list be shared showing the Seven Hills
beneficiaries, their NIN and the amount due to each," wrote Omodi. A source who preferred told URN that they are
suspicious of the
intention behind the disbursement of money
to the SACCO accounts.
The source says some members of Seven Hills have been
receiving daily allowances ranging between Shillings 6000 to 10,000 given to
them directly by their supervisors and now wonders why KCCA wants to pay them
through SACCO accounts.
“It is as if they want to trap SACCOS that they
hired seven Hills. These people are not members of SACCO and SACCOS can’t be
responsible for them. KCCA just sent money to the accounts without talking to
leaders in SACCOS, they have not told them how many people they are supposed to
pay and how much. This is like a trap,” said the source
Asked to explain under what arrangement the
volunteers were being paid, KCCA deputy spokesperson, Robert Kalumba said the group was helping with
keeping the city clean and that’s why they decided to pay them.
“They have been working. Are you saying they should not be paid?” said
Kalumba asked before
adding that they were making arrangements to formalize their operations with
the group. Kalumba couldn’t however explain why the money was paid through
accounts of SACCOS, how many people were to be paid and how much.
Until September 15th, 2021, it is community SACCOs that have been providing cleaning, landscaping
and engineering services in Kampala. The SACCOS in each of the five divisions
of Kampala have a membership of over 3000 workers recruited under a reserve scheme targeting elderly people especially women, single mothers and people
living with HIV.
When their contracts expired, KCCA embarked on
an evaluation exercise to assess the performance of their casual workers. Earlier this week Daniel NuweAbine, who has been acting authority spokesperson, said findings of the evaluation process shall
inform whether KCCA extends the contracts
of division SACCOs and hence the reservation scheme.
Nevertheless SACCOS casual labourers have continued
to work since this is not the first time there are lapses in their contracts.
For instance, in 2018 and 2019, the SACCOS had no written contract with KCCA
but they worked and were paid.
KCCA spends at least one billion Shillings in salaries on casual labourers and by the time funds were
sent members of SACCOS had already received their August salary and are waiting
for September. The salary usually comes mid of the next month.
What is Seven Hills
Seven Hills surfaced in March 2021 at a time KCCA launched the
smart city campaign, an initiative intended to drive community engagement in
cleaning the city. They desilted drainages in Kampala before expanding to
sweeping the streets.
It was marketed as a volunteer youth group uniting
former criminal gang members who
decided to engage in activities beneficial to their communities. They soon started recruiting other members from
the community who are not former criminals. Its membership is currently over
500 per division.
The group has since publicly expressed interest in
securing a contract to offer cleaning services in Kampala. Some of the group’s
supervisors that URN previously interacted with accused the SACCOS of failing
at their job and that they (Seven Hill) were committed to scooping the contract.
Since their arrival, there have been reports of clashes between the Seven Hills group and SACCO members on the streets. The
SACCOS (who had a running contract) accuse Seven Hills of deploying in areas
where they also have people to work to
force them off
the streets and
insulting them while boosting their powers.
In August 2021, as contracts of SACCOS neared
expiry, the tension escalated with
Seven Hills members being accused of provoking and sometimes beating members of
Community SACCOs who had been holding the contract. Videos of them pushing
SACCOs members into drainage channels emerged but they denied any wrongdoing.