Namugwanya said the market leaders in Kampala were exploiting the market employees, traders and abusing power.

KAMPALA MARKETS: Elections for new leaders launched

The State Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority, Benny Namugwanya addressing the press at the media center. Photo by John Odyek

Namugwanya said the market leaders in Kampala were exploiting the market employees, traders and abusing power.

ELECTION | MARKET LEADERS | KCCA 

Elections for new market and abattoir leaders for Kampala City are set to begin at the end of this month (October).

Government has removed all the leaders from markets and abattoirs in Kampala City with immediate effect.

The markets are those located on government land and privately owned markets many located on Kabaka’s land.

The State Minister for Kampala Capital City Authority, Benny Namugwanya, while representing the Kampala minister, Betty Amongi, informed the public that Kampala City Council Authority has taken over control of the markets and slaughterhouses.

Namugwanya said the market leaders in Kampala were exploiting the market employees, traders and abusing power.

Many of the market traders are women, youth and children. She was speaking to the media in Kampala at the Media Centre.

Mugwanya said the election for new leaders for the markets would start on Monday (October 26, 2020), under the supervision of the Kampala City Council Authority.

“The exploitation has been orchestrated in all markets and abattoirs of Kampala in form of over taxation, inflated payment of water, electricity, toilet fees, maintenance, and security by the cliques without consideration of the vendors, sellers,” Mugwanya said.

She said the National Water and Sewerage Corporation has been asked to provide piped water to the markets and abattoirs at reasonable rates.

President last month directed the disbandment of the leadership of government markets in Kampala.

The President said the leaders had hijacked the markets and imposed unwanted dues on the market traders.

In a September 25 letter, to Kampala minister, Amongi titled, Issues Concerning Markets and Rufulas in Kampala’, Museveni said the issue of hijacking markets and abattoirs has “gone on for too long”.

The President has instead proposed that vendors elect new leaders under the supervision of the Kampala minister.

He called upon the current leaders of city markets, especially those who head government-owned markets, to step aside.

There are about 13 government markets in Kampala with 122, 400 vendors.

Kampala has six slaughter abattoirs employing over 280 butchers. Some popular markets include; Owino, Nakasero, Kiseka, Bugolobi, Nakawa, Wandegeya, Bugolobi, Usafi, Nateete, Wandegeya, Nakawa, Kasubi and Market.

Museveni cited the case of lorries that transport matooke that are charged many times. He said when a lorry arrives; it pays between sh50, 000 to sh70, 000.

When the lorry enters the market gate they asked to pay between sh1, 000 or sh3, 000 per bunch.

Some lorry operators said they are asked to pay offloading fees if not they are not allowed into the market or forced to sell outside the markets alongside roads. Stall owners pay sh12, 500 per month.

Museveni said that many traders have over time complained of the payment of dues such as sh200 for toilet use per visit, the cost of water that is charged at sh500 per 20-liter jerry can yet the average market price for the same amount of water is sh50.

Government has warned market leaders in Kampala against illegal activities and said they will be dealt with decisively if caught.

Officials from KCCA said there will be an improvement in infrastructure in many of the markets in Kampala as plans get executed.

They explained that public toilets in Kampala were closed in the evening due to the shortage of manpower.

Members of the public have queried why public toilets around shut at 6:00 pm yet the city remains active during the night.

They also queried the absence of tapped water, toilets in many of the markets. In some markets like Bugolobi, the main gates are closed with the toilets.

The shopkeepers, consumers, travelers around the market are forced to ease themselves on the roadside while others defecated in the dark spaces due to lack of public toilets.

Experts have asked KCCA to give incentives to local investors to build toilets in the city and allow them to recover their investments through adverts placed on the toilet buildings and other mechanisms.

They also asked KCCA to develop various public private partnership arrangements that lead to the improvement of the infrastructure and the quality of life of city dwellers and visitors.

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