Six Arrested Over Illegal Occupation of Kabale Market Lockups

Six people are in police custody accused of illegally occupying lockups in the newly built Kabale central market in Kabale municipality. 

The suspects are Vicent Kagorero, Robert Byansi, Dalton Naturinda, Medard Bisamunyu, John Mboniaba, and Hope Ntegyereize.

They were arrested by a select committee appointed by the Local Government Minister, Raphael Magyezi to investigate the mess surrounding the allocation of space in Kabale Central market. 

Magyezi appointed the select committee following an outcry by several vendors accusing Kabale municipal officials of pocketing bribes to allocate stalls and lockups to unknown people, and civil servants.

The select committee chaired by the Kabale Deputy Resident Commissioner, Andrew Ronald Bakak decided to conduct a verification exercise in the market on Wednesday and Thursday. The suspects presented fake allocation slips, some of them signed by the vendors. 

According to Bakak, the committee discovered that Ntegyereize sold a lock-up to Olivia Tumwebaze at Shillings 7.5 Million and issued her a fake allocation slip. 

Bakak says that detectives will interrogate the suspects to establish how they ended up in the lockups. 

He says that after the physical verification exercise on Friday, the committee will summon Kabale municipal authorities to respond to their findings before they compile a final report for transmission to the Local Government Ministry on Wednesday next week.      

Last month, the committee revealed that the allocation exercise was marred with gross extortion as some people paid more than Shillings 30 million for lockups. 

The affected people including Rev. Fr. Godius Musinguzi, the Director of Radio Maria in Kabale Diocese, and Stephen Ntunga confessed how they were tricked by the Kabale Municipal Commercial Officer, Fidelis Akankwasa, Ben Mftimukiza, the Principal Town Agent for Southern Division in Kabale municipality and Canon Joshua Mutekanga, the chairperson of Kabale Central Market Vendors Association to pay Shillings 30 million to lockups.    

In 2019, the government contracted Chong Chong International Construction (CICO) to upgrade Kabale Central market at Shillings 23 billion under the World Bank-funded Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program – MATIP III.  CICO handed over the market in December last year.    

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