Habuyonza Market in Kabale District was a scene of clashes this morning between vendors and Kahaoro Sub county authorities over dues. Habuyonza Market is found on top of Kabaraga hills along the Ntungamo-Kabale-Katuna Highway.
It accommodates hundreds of vendors, mostly vegetable dealers. This morning, Kaharo Sub county officials led by Patrick Worinawe, the Acting Senior Accounts Assistant, Nelson Batuma, the area Gombolola Internal Security Officer (GISO), two Police Officers attached to Kaharo police post and crime preventers stormed the market and ordered all the vendors to leave.
They accused the vendors of failing to pay market dues since April last year, saying they owe the sub county Shillings 28 million. They asked each of the vendors to pay Shillings 35,000 that has accumulated over the whole year.
However, the vendors resisted the directive to vacate the market leading to a bitter verbal exchange with the sub county authorities prompting police and the crime preventers to use force to push out the vendors. Some of the vendors fled for dear life leaving behind their merchandise, but another group moved to the top of the hill and started pelting the officials with stones.
They accused the sub county authorities for storming the market to collect dues on Good Friday. They also wondered why the authorities accuse them of not paying due yet they pay Shillings 500 each day to William Kapere, who was contracted by the sub county to handle revenue collection.
They also accused the council of failing to use the Shillings 43 million paid by Reynolds Constriction Company (RCC) as compensation for road construct works to build for them permanent stalls and a toilet.
John Tumusiime, one of the affected vendors, insists that they have been paying market dues.
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Alex Manyire Byarugaba, another vendor who was found stranded with ten sacks of cabbages, told URN he had expected to generate Shillings 300,000. He also says there was no reason for Kaharo sub county authorities to storm their market demanding for revenue yet they have failed to utilize the compensation money to construct new stalls.
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Hillary Niwamanya another vendor accuses sub county authorities for failing to provide security at the market to guard their merchandise despite several reminders.
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Darias Nandiinda, the Kabale Resident District Commissioner has promised to meet the vendors and sub county authorities after the festive season to resolve the stalemate.
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Patrick Worinawe, the Kaharo Sub county Acting Senior Accounts Assistant, says they decided to raid the market today since this is the only time they can get the vendors.
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Edmond Tumwesigye, the LC III Chairperson Kaharo Sub County declined to comment on the matter when approached by URN.