Mbarara City Authorities Reduce Market Rent Fees Following Vendors’ Petitions

Mbarara City authorities have reduced the rental fees in Mbarara Central Market following several petitions from vendors. During the relocation of vendors to the Shillings 21 billion central Market last year, the authorities directed vendors to pay between 30,000 and 300,000 in rent fees depending on the size of their lock-up, stall, and restaurant.

However, the vendors petitioned the authorities and Local Government Minister, saying the monthly rental fees were too high. They explained that this is the reason why many lock-ups and stalls remain have remained vacant, especially on level four.

Richard Mugisha, the Deputy Mbarara City Clerk, says that they set up a committee comprising the Acting City Commercial Officer, Principal Revenue Officer, and the Senior Revenue Officer to among others handle the petitions from the vendors.

Mugisha says the committee looked at the charges and finally came up with revised fees. He explains that the committee reduced the fees for a single and a double lock-up at level four from Shillings 80,000 and100, 000 to Shillings 30,000 while lock-ups on level three have been lowered to Shillings 50,000 from 100,000.

According to Mugisha, the vendors also protested other market fees like gate collections, loading, and off-loading fees, which have been scrapped. He said that they have also reduced the toilet charges from Shillings 500 to 200 per visit. He says that they intend to meet the vendors to inform them about the new rates before the council approves them for implementation.

Robert Kabaare, the Chairperson of the Fish Department in Mbarara Central Market, says that since they were relocated they have refused to pay because 150,000 Shillings a month is too high for them. He, however, says that they are ready to pay once the changes are communicated. He says that they want charges for both smoked fish and fresh fish to be similar.

Emmanuel Muhumuza, the chairperson of the market welcomed the changes, saying the vendors will not start paying their dues.

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