A statutory internal audit report for the third quarter of Financial Year 2018/2019 has unearthed glaring irregularities in the recruitment and operations of Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) law enforcement officers.
The findings of the audit come hot on the heels of uproar among members of the public, who accuse the enforcers of using an iron hand while enforcing trade order in the city.
The April 30 report, a copy which we have seen, was compiled by KCCA’s director of internal audit, Mr Moses Canon Bwire.
The objective of the audit included to review the business processes relating to enforcement, execution, management, reporting framework and staffing aspects.
Others were; to assess whether there are appropriate procedures of law enforcement staff deployment and development, the process and management of the prosecution process of arrested offenders, and to ascertain whether law enforcers are facilitated and protected while on duty.
The audit review covered activities of law enforcement from January 2017 to October 2018.
The audit found out that while the 2016 KCCA structure provides for only 192 enforcement personnel, the enforcement personnel stood at 234 as of October 2018.
“…this implies that extra 42 personnel [21 per cent of approved structure] had been deployed by November 2018,” reads in part the report.
However, the recruitment of the extra 42 personnel could not be established by the audit, something that casts KCCA on the spot.
The controversial recruitment of the 42 law enforcers therefore undermined section A-c (3) of the public standing orders which states that appointment in the Public Service shall be subject to availability of either a vacancy in the approved staff establishment or funds in the approved budget estimates.
Mr Bwire faults KCCA for breaching the approved structure, warning that the inflated number of law enforcers against the already established structure could cause budget override.
According to KCCA’s payroll structure which we have seen, a law enforcement officer earns a gross salary of Shs550,000 per month.
This means while KCCA is supposed to pay only Shs105,600,000 in salaries for law enforcement officers as per the established structure, they irregularly pay Shs23,100, 000 for the extra 42 personnel.
The report further states that while section 45 (3) of the employment Act, 2006 requires all employers to provide employees with the equipment, tools and material necessary for that employee to perform his or her duty, KCCA law enforcers have only one pair of uniform.
It was further found out that the enforcement team does not have protective gear.
“The safety of enforcement staff is at stake and there is therefore risk of a huge compensations in the event of accidents and injuries of staff on duty,” Mr Bwire noted.
The Law enforcement Unit is under the directorate of legal affairs and its activities include, among others, control of trade order in the city, enforcing payment of taxes, monitoring or control of development of illegal structures, and control of parking in the city.
However, the report states that some of the offenders who are arrested are not reflected in the charge register.
For instance on December 17, the report states, although 345 cases were recorded in the law enforcement reports, only 248 cases were recorded in the charge office register for prosecution, leaving out 97 cases.
Therefore, it remains unclear why the law enforcement officers did not record the 97 cases.
Further still, 682 cases were recorded in the law enforcement reports but only 510 were recorded in the office charge office register, leaving out 172 cases.
“…some arrested offenders are released without being taken to the charge office,” Mr Bwire stated in the report.
He recommended that the manager in charge of enforcement should ensure proper accountability for all the arrested offenders.
During the process of audit, officials, the report states, inspected stores in Nakawa where confiscated items are supposed to be kept. However, the team found that some of the impounded items are not delivered to the stores.
One of the roles of the law enforcers is to impound stray animals and take them to the Uganda meat Industries Abattoir for custody. These animals are charged Shs10, 000 each daily for custody at the abattoir.
However, the report states that when the audit team inspected the abattoir, there were no forms filled at the time of handling of the impounded animals to the custodian of the abattoir.
The report recommends that the directorate of legal affairs should ensure that there is regular reconciliation of reports at Uganda meat industries abattoir and those of the field officers.
Last week Mr Peter Kaujju, the KCCA spokesperson, said KCCA’s internal audit directorate ensures that the institutions are under check.
“When the audit team comes up with findings, they ask the concerned directorates to respond to queries and answers are given. The team can, therefore, recommend on which areas need improvement and we have adhered to these recommendations in the past,” he said.
Mr Kaujju noted that the law enforcement officers, just like any other temporary officials in the institution, await the new arrangement where KCCA is working with Public Service Commission to regularise all employees.