19 February 2019

Uganda: Kabale Market Will Be Rebuilt - Mayor

Kabale — The mayor of Kabale Municipal Council, Mr Sentaro Byamugisha, has said reconstruction of Kabale Central Market will go on as planned despite protests by a section of traders.

Speaking during a mediation meeting between Kabale Municipal Council authorities and the traders organised by the Kabale Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Darius Nandinda, last week, Mr Byamugisha said the council cannot lose the project because of personal interests of some traders.

"The planned reconstruction of Kabale Central Market will continue despite the grievances and the ongoing court case that was filed against Kabale Municipal Council by a section of traders protesting. We cannot stand to lose this project because of personal interests. Last Wednesday the Council made a resolution that the court cases should continue as the construction process goes on and the loser shall pay the costs," Mr Byamugisha said.

Traders want the council to conduct fresh registration saying some of their colleagues were left out. They also want the council to respect and uphold all the occupational permits issued to the lockup owners in the early 1990s because their 49-year leases are still running.

The vendors' demands

They also demand that the council avail the sitting tenants relocation plan before the construction of the new market begins; be given designs of the new market, and a 90-day notice so that they can prepare to leave the premises. More than 400 traders last Monday resolved to write to African Development Bank (AfDB) to halt release of Shs23b for the construction until the council has addressed their demands.

Kabale Central Market Traders Association in December went to court seeking an interim order to halt the registration exercise of traders claiming that the process was not transparent. The High Court in Kabale is yet to give ruling on the matter.

The chairperson Kabale Central Market Traders Association, Mr Simon Mashemererwa, thanked the RDC for convening a mediation meeting although he said it was attended by mainly intruders.

Mr Mashemererwa said dialogue not dictatorship will help resolve the matter. About 500 traders and vendors voted in support of withdrawing the petition to AfDB.

The District Police Commander, Mr Donald Muhwezi, said government will not allow those who want to fail the project.

Ministry of Local Government last month advertised seeking competent companies to bid for the re-construction of Kabale Central Market, stating that the signing of the contract with the best evaluated company shall be done on May 3.

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