Disbanded Market Committees Hold onto Offices

The interim leadership committees of public markets in Kampala city are yet to vacate as directed by the president. The committees of the 16 government markets in Kampala City were expected to hand over to the KCCA Executive Director, Dorothy Kisaka Monday morning in line with the November 16th, 2022 presidential directive.

The committees have been in charge of the city markets since 2021. The president directed the establishment of the committees pending the approval of the market ordinance by the KCCA council. The ordnance was expected to streamline the leadership issues of public markets.    

URN visited some of the markets on Monday morning and found the leaders are in their offices. This situation is exceptional in the Wandegeya market, where the KCCA officials were instituted two weeks ago, and in the Kasubi market where the leaders say they didn’t receive the handover letter.   

Richard Mukiibi, the outgoing chairperson of Nakasero market, whom URN found in the market office, says that although they are ready to leave office, it is not yet clear how they are to leave, and how the directive is going to be implemented. According to Mukiibi, they have always advocated for the government to take over the market. 

Mukiibi says that they still have a number of unanswered questions about how this directive will be implemented because vendors still need a leader from among them.

“We still have questions, because KCCA has its work like security and hygiene in the market, but we are yet to know about the vendor’s social welfare, like who will be supporting the in advancing their businesses like the signing of official support documents when the need arises, and also arbitrating issues between them,” Mukiibi explains.

At St Balikudembe market, the Spokesperson, John Kasule spokesperson, says that they are happy that the government is finally taking over the markets, saying it will be good for the vendors operating in them, and that has always been their objective. According to Kasule, their leadership has been characterized by numerous threats for them to leave office.

Henry Bukenya, the manager for markets at KCCA told URN on the phone that the authority is yet to fully deploy in some of these markets. He, however, says that they have minimal presence in the markets. 

“We are to take over all the operational duties, in these markets as the leaders have been, following the president’s instructions. The arrangements of vendors having leaders who are fellow vendors are still on hold until the market ordinance is passed,” Bukenya explained.

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