In a letter seen by URN dated 2020 September 25, President Museveni directed the minister of Kampala to remove from the government markets the “Association leaders” and supervise the sellers to elect news leaders, with immediate effect
Vendors in the four Markets of Kisekka, Wandegeya, St.
Balikudembe alias Owino and Nakasero have threatened to hold demonstrations to
oust leadership from those markets and forcefully hand them over to KCCA
administration if the Ministry of Kampala and KCCA don’t do the same in five
The Vendors held a media briefing in Kampala on Saturday where
they issued the ultimatum, saying that president Museveni issued a directive
last month ordering the ministry of Kampala to effect the repossession of these
markets from the companies that vendors say are milking.
In a letter seen by URN dated 2020 September 25, President
Museveni directed the minister of Kampala to with immediate effect remove from
the government markets the “Association leaders” and supervise the sellers to
elect new leaders.
Museveni stated that many of the current leaders in the
markets registered themselves as the proprietors of the markets instead of the Association
of sellers or vendors.
He also ordered that all association leaders should stand
aside so that the issue of compensating them which he said was being messed up
by the colluders, could be understood better.
Susan Kushaba the chairperson of Owino Market Women Vendors’
Association also heading a pressure group known as Team Through YKM in Business
Community said that the ministers of Kampala and that of Lands are conniving
with the current leadership in Markets to operate markets like Mafia.
She added that they also want President Museveni to remove the
Minister of Kampala Betty Amongi and her deputy Benny Namugwanya from all
matters concerning markets and hand them to KCCA executive director Dorothy
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Joseph Lwanga who represented Nakasero Market read the
statement issuing the ultimatum to KCCA and the Ministry, but also noted that
they want the Military to conduct the repossession operation because Uganda Police
is in bed with the current market leadership.
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However, in an audio recording shared by the vendors,
Minister Amongi responded to their appeals in one of their WhatsApp chats as
vendors saying that her ministry together with the ministry of finance are
still working on the issue of compensation before repossessing the markets.
She said that it will be quick and easy for government to repossess
markets sitting on land owned by government, but the issue of markets like
Owino and Kisekka whose land is owned by traders’ companies, is not as easy as
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Amongi explained that for Owino market, in 2006 president
Museveni wrote to the then local government minister Adolf Mwesigye directing
that vendors should form a company to run the market and also ordered that the
ministry transfers the land title into the name of that company.
She noted that while there is a new presidential directive
ordering KCCA to repossess markets, the creation of companies like Space and
Lock-ups Shop Owners Association (SSLOA) which have been running these markets,
was also as a result of a presidential directive and if the ministry is to
handle the matter, it has to be handled under the company law.
She further says in February this year, court ruled that the
land belongs to SSLOA and in the registration of companies act and the land act,
anybody who owns the land, has to run the market, KCCA only regulates them.
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Kushaba refutes and trashes Amongi’s arguments, saying that
it would be inappropriate to focus on compensating SSLOA and Kayongo whom they
allege has been collecting money from Owino market for the past 10 years at 6billion shillings a year, totaling to 60 billion shillings if rounded off.