Contractors call for action Against Vandalism

By Sophan Niwamanya

Kabale, Uganda 

In a bid to combat the rampant vandalism of government property plaguing Uganda, Peter Nkurunungi, the director of Geses Uganda Limited, has urged administrative units and local governments to implement a reward system for individuals who identify and report vandals. Nkurunungi emphasized the severe economic consequences of property damage, asserting that it not only increases repair and replacement costs but also results in lost revenue due to disrupted public services.

Addressing the media, Nkurunungi stressed the urgency of government intervention, proposing that recognizing and rewarding citizens who actively contribute to curbing vandalism would serve as a powerful deterrent. He believes that such a strategy would encourage people to come forward and play an active role in safeguarding public infrastructure.

Peter Nkurunungi stated, “Vandalism of government property is a serious issue in Uganda. By rewarding those who assist in identifying and reporting vandals, we can foster a sense of responsibility among citizens and help protect our nation’s valuable assets.”

However, not everyone shares Nkurunungi’s view. The Rubanda District Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Robert Mutungi, and the Rubanda District LC5 Chairperson, Steven Ampeire Stephen Kasyaba, believe that Uganda lacks the capacity to financially reward every informant. Instead, they suggest focusing on education to raise awareness about the adverse effects of vandalism.

Robert Mutungi remarked, “While rewarding informants is a commendable idea, we need to consider the practicality of implementing such a system across the entire nation. Educating the public about the consequences of vandalism and fostering a culture of respect for public property are crucial steps in addressing this issue.”

Mutungi and Kasyaba emphasized the importance of holding individuals accountable for their actions and called on the government to instill a culture of responsibility among citizens.

The discussions surrounding vandalism prevention come at a critical time for Kabale municipality, where authorities are grappling with a surge in vandalism cases. Of particular concern is the targeted destruction of batteries and solar panels on newly installed street lights across Johnson, Jackson, Rugarama, and Katuna streets. These incidents occurred before the official commissioning of the security-enhancing initiative, which commenced in June 2023.

In a related development, Kabale Police apprehended two individuals on Monday morning, charging them with vandalism and theft of road furniture.

As the debate over the most effective strategies to combat vandalism unfolds, Uganda faces the challenge of balancing punitive measures with proactive efforts to build a sense of responsibility and respect for public property among its citizens.