Gov’t Issues Guidelines for Management of City Markets

The Ministry for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs has issued guidelines for the management of City markets. The markets were re-possessed by the government in 2020 following a presidential directive.

Addressing the press on Tuesday at the Uganda Media Center, the Minister for Kampala, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda said that the administration and management of the markets will be executed by staff appointed and deployed by Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA. She said the KCCA shall be tasked with administration, sanitation, hygiene, revenue collection, law enforcement, and all other incidents for the efficient running of the marketplaces.

Kabanda noted that only KCCA staff shall collect revenue from vendors while vendors shall pay for their utilities including water and electricity. She says that the vendors’ management committees previously appointed in the markets are immediately disbanded and barred from engaging in the management and administration of markets whether directly or indirectly.

“Vendors’ welfare SACCOs shall not be involved in the administration and management of the market. Any person who will deviate from the above roles will be treated in accordance with the existing laws and policies,” said the Minister.

She further revealed that no SACCOs shall be allowed to use market space to run their activities. Kabanda says they should hold their meetings and other activities outside the market at least for the time being as the government streamlines operations of the market.

Kabanda says they want to avoid a mix-up of SACCO leadership and general administration of the markets during this reorganization stage until everything has been put to order.

The minister further announced that KCCA has assigned market masters and administrators to all their markets across the city. These shall work with a team of other officials from KCCA including public health officers, market revenue collectors, public health meat inspectors for the case of city abattoirs, and law enforcement officers.

This technical team from KCCA is charged with the general supervision and oversight over the affairs and operations of the market, ensuring utility bills are paid, collecting market dues, public health maintained, ensuring there is security, ensuring trade orders, and resolving conflicts in the market.

According to Kabanda, the team shall maintain a clear register of vendors in the markets and has been instructed to submit registers to KCCA within two weeks. She says the teams shall also file periodic reports about the market.

In 2020, President Museveni ordered KCCA to repossess all public city markets, some of which had been leased out while others were being run by vendor groups. The President held that leaders in markets were exploitive, demanding hefty sums of money from vendors in the form of market dues, loading fees, and utilities. In the following years he held meetings with several leaders of the City Authority and the Ministry leading to the suspension of market leaders, those who had refused to leave were forced out with the help of security agencies.

The President also ordered that people whose capital has grown should leave the markets to allow for other start-ups to get space to operate. He also directed that more markets be set up in Kampala.

Following the directive, Henry Bukenya, the KCCA Manager of Commercial Services said that the markets needed to be streamlined to ensure proper utilization of the spaces available.

“There are some businesses in billions of shillings in these markets like Nakasero. They should move to other places like Arcades to create room for small business owners like vendors evicted from streets to also get a place to operate ” said Bukenya.

He also said that KCCA planned to have more public markets in each of the five divisions of Kampala. There are over 60 markets in Kampala but only 16 are publicly owned.

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