Kampala — THREE building sites in Kampala where accidents occurred have been closed by the gender and labour ministry, Parliament has heard.
The occupational, safety and health commissioner, Ruba Kalyegira, told the parlimentary committee on gender yesterday that some of the sites did not submit their architectural plans to him for approval.
"They received the prohibition orders so as to make them put right the working environment," he said.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires construction sites to be approved by the commissioner.
The closed sites, according to Kalyegira, are the Roko one on Lumumba Avenue where the NSSF Pensions Towers are to be built, the Nasser Road excavation site and another at Nakasero adjacent to the market.
Kalyegira said although the Aya site at Nakasero Hill near State House was not closed, its management had been warned because a lift designed to carry building materials was used to carry workers.
The lift, he added, had one cable instead of the required six.
Four contruction workers were killed on December 28 after the lift carrying 15, hurtled to the ground when one of the cables on the pulley gave way.
The Nasser Road accident is the latest incident in the city in which two people died and 20 others sustained injuries when Mirembe Shopping Arcade caved in after an excavation site forced the foundation to give way.
The Police have blacklisted 27 buildings under construction in the city and have asked the Government to take action.
The state minister for labour, Dr. Emmanuel Otaala, said one of the major problems was that most of the buildings being constructed in Kampala were approved by Kampala City Council without their owners presenting their documents to the ministry for approval.
"So it becomes difficult for us to inspect the sites we have not been notified about. I have directed that buildings where construction work is going on without our approval be closed," he said.
Otaala noted that the Cabinet had passed a paper on registering all work places.
Otaala and Kalyegira were part of the ministry team led by the minister, Gabriel Opio, that anwered questions raised by the parliametary committee.
The permanent secretary, Christine Guwatudde, told the committee chaired by Beatrice Lagada (NRM) that the procurement process for building permanent offices had reached negotiation stage.
She, however, said the successful bidder changed the terms, including the price. "What they did is not acceptable under the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority regulations."
"The ministry now has to start the procurement process again from the bidding stage," Guwatudde said.