Relocation of Vendors to Kabale new Central Market Kicks Off Amidst Feud

The relocation of vendors to the newly built Kabale Central market kicked off on Tuesday amidst disputes between a section of lock-up owners and Kabale municipal authorities.       

The relocation exercise under a raffle set to end on Friday is being led by Prossy Tuhiriirwe, the Assistant Program Officer in Charge of Community Development in the Minister of Local Government, Sentaro Byamugisha, the Kabale municipal Mayor, and Andrew Beija, the Kabale Municipality Health Inspector.

The exercise was conducted amidst heavy police and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) deployment. The government contracted Chinese firm Chong Chuing International Construction (CICO) to upgrade the Shillings 23 billion market under the World Bank-funded Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program – MATIP III in 2019.

CICO handed over the market to the government in early December 2022. However, a section of lockup owners led by Rev.Canon Jack Katarishangwa, Simon Mashemerewa, and Richard Muhanguzi are protesting the occupation of Kabale Central market without the authorities handing over the ownership of the lockups. 

They accuse authorities of turning against and declaring that Kabale municipality is the overall owner of the lockups without considering that there are those who were owning lockups before the old market was demolished.  

They are also opposed to the allocation of lockups through a raffle and accuse Kabale municipality authorities of rushing to relocate vendors to the new market despite a pending court case.        

Byamugisha says that the relocation is set to benefit 1,022 vendors. Byamugisha says that there is nothing to stop the relocation since there is no court injunction. He says that the Municipality through the Attorney general is ready to defend itself on Monday next week.  

However, other vendors including Medias Enid Keishiki and Julius Turinawe dealing in fresh foods appreciate the relocation, saying that all the lockups they have received are appropriate. They say they were tired of leaking roofs and mud in the Kabale police barracks playground market.     

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