Benny Namugwanya, the Kampala State Minister has regretted the death of Oliver Basemera, a female hawker in Kampala on Friday last week.
The 35-year-old mother of three, drowned in Nakivubo Channel while trying to evade arrest from KCCA law enforcement officers.
Basemera's death drew wide spread condemnation from city dwellers, politicians and activists. This morning, Benny Namugwanya, the Kampala State Minister offered condolences on behalf of government for Basemera's death.
"On behalf of my ministry, central government and on my behalf, the death of Oliver Basemera is regrettable. As the ministry of Kampala and government, we regret that loss,” she said.
Adding that, "I have been informed that the circumstance surrounding that death is being investigated by police and we will allow Uganda Police to carry out the necessary investigations and do its work professionally…it is our sincere prayer that Uganda Police carries out investigations expeditiously and the report shared with the deceased's family, government and other relevant stakeholders."
She however, noted that government cannot allow street vending in Kampala because of narrow roads and congestion. Namugwanya explained that instead, government is trying to create markets to accommodate the street vendors and hawkers to ensure that everyone can operate easily.
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She however, says they are faced with an uphill task due the mindset of the vendors who are reluctant to change. Namugwanya says the vendors prefer working along Kampala streets rather than occupy markets that have been established by Kampala Capital City Authority.
She however, says no Ugandan should lose life because government is not bettering the city for dead bodies.
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Kampala Capital City Authority Act, 2010 provides for the creation of a metropolitan police which is supposed to enforce rule of law in the city. Section 26 reads; "There shall be a Metropolitan Police Force for the Capital City. The Metropolitan Police Force shall comprise persons appointed under the Police Act and trained by the Uganda Police Force." It is presumed that this force would be in charge of Kampala Security rather than KCCCA law enforcers.
But Namugwanya says the Metropolitan police cannot be put in place because it requires supporting statutory instrument to regulate its operation.
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Namugwanya explained that the KCCA law enforcement operates under the ordinances that were passed by Kampala City Council that was replaced by Kampala Capital City Act.