President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has for the second time in less than a month issued directives to guide the management of government owned City markets.
According to a statement issued by State House on Thursday, the President met with the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Kampala Ministers and officials from the Kampala Capital City Authority- KCCA and issued a number of directives to guide the management of City markets.
“He noted that the leaders of the vendors had also become exploiters of the vendors they were supposed to represent. That they had turned their leadership positions into offices from where they earn a living,” said Museveni directing that KCCA takes over the administration of the markets.
The President reiterated a directive he issued recently that no vendor should occupy more than one stall. He also directed that there should be a reasonable Mpooza (fee) the vendors should pay for the stalls and lock-ups and that the Kampala leadership in the meeting decide later on what should be charged on items entering the market.
In his discussion with the KCCA officials and Kampala Ministers, it was agreed that the vendors should pay to KCCA a reasonable periodic fee either monthly or annually for the stalls/lock-ups they occupy, empooza be paid by the traders who bring merchandize to sell to the vendors. The vendors will not be charged empooza on the items they have bought from the traders, it was further agreed.
The meeting also resolved that utilities like power and water will be paid for by the vendors but that government would request Umeme to provide Yaka meters to the users of electricity. KCCA shall take over the responsibility of garbage collection, maintaining and cleaning toilets using the funds the vendors will be paying for the stall and lock-ups.
Regarding the distribution of the workspaces, the existing vendors in the government markets will be given priority on the basis of one vendor per stall.
“On lock-ups, it was noted that the practice was that one lock-up was being operated by more than one person. It was agreed that if a lock-up is being run by more than one person, all the operators in the said lock-up will be considered as a group. They will jointly pay for the periodic rent of the Lock-up,” reads the statement in part.
For the vendors who were operating on the Streets and evicted during the Smart City campaign, it was agreed that KCCA finds them open grounds where they can operate from temporarily.
Vendors are allowed to have their own committees to engage and run government programmes like SACCOs, Emyooga but not to be involved in administration of markets.
The President further reiterated his guidance that KCCA plans for at least two markets in each of the 5 Divisions of Kampala, and one Skilling Centre per Division.
But as the President makes such directives, he hasn’t yet assented to the recently passed Market Bill 2022 which provides for management of markets. President Museveni says to that the bill has clauses that creates partnership between KCCA and the Vendors in the running of the Markets something he doesn’t buy into . He said the bill should be returned to Parliament so that it is harmonized with what had been agreed upon in the meeting on the markets.
The Minister for Kampala, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda reported that a Cabinet Paper incorporating some of the issues that had been agreed upon at the meeting had been prepared and was due for discussion at the next Cabinet meeting on 21st November, 2022.
The meeting was also attended by the State Minister for KCCA Affairs, the Executive Director, KCCA, the RCC Kampala City, the Mayor Kampala Central and mobilisers from the Markets.
There are more than 60 markets in Kampala but only 16 are government owned.