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Confusion Amidst Standoff Between K'la Minister and Market Chairperson

“Susan's being in office today, is a sign that we are not in a fight, it is a chance for her prepare and leave office honourably as we await official handover” the RCC added. It remains to be seen if Susan will manage to enter the office as the new week begins.
17 Oct 2021 19:20
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The week ended with a dubious situation featuring the chairperson of St Balikudembe market commonly known as Owino who was evicted on THursday by the Resident city commissioner for Kampala central division Hajjati Hawa Namugenyi Ndege, reoccupying her office under heavy security.

Ms Suzan Kushaba, has held this office on an interim basis since September 2020, under the presidential directive on markets.

For more than one month, the minister for Kampala and metropolitan affairs Hajjati Minsa Kabanda has queried about the interim leaderships of all the 15 government owned markets in the city over issues of accountability and collecting money from vendors which is against the presidential directive.

Last week she wrote to the KCCA executive director asking for accountability of government money sent to manage these markets, and tasked KCCA to appoint new market leaders and stop the collection of any money in the markets.

Minsa Kabanda with whom we talked to on phone said that ever since she wrote the letter, markets have been mired in fights  have that markets, not only for Owino but all the government owned markets in the city.

She added that “I was not part of the eviction because I was in induction at Kololo but because I wrote the letter, the deputy  RCC was  has been implementing what I wrote and to this I still firmly stand and must make it happen. I have also written to the deputy RCC formerly asking her to implement what was in the letter and also end the fights and confusion in that market.”

Suzan Kushaba whom we found in Owino market chairperson’s office, said that what happened was masterminded by Hajjat Minsa Kabanda and the deputy RCC to disrupt the market, it is not in the minister's mandate to install market masters, that role is for KCCA which respecting the court impending order about the market land ownership and this means the status quo should be maintained till court pronounces it’s self.

“Based on what happened, Owino vendors have sworn me in as their leader to secure their  market, and this demystified the minister's claim the I was not the elected market leader, which now I am,” she said.

Hajjati Hawa Ndegge, the deputy R.C.C Kampala central who executed the  eviction operation said the operation was successful and the newly appointed  leadership was instituted as the minister asked because the interim leaderships term expired more than a year ago.

She added that the appointed leaders are market stake holders and spent the entire Friday  in orientation, training  to equip them with skills to be effective in their role, and that they also also instituted 3 market masters who are not stake holders.

“Susan's being in office today, is a sign that we are not in a fight, it is a chance for  her prepare and leave office honourably as we await official handover” the RCC added.It remains to be seen if Susan will manage to enter the office as the new week begins.

All around the market leadership offices was a lot of deployment of army, police and LDU. Entry was restricted to scrutiny and vetting with a lot of questions.

A section of the market vendors I talked to had little clue about what was going on.

Some said they are only concerned about their stalls not the market leaderships.

One who was only  identified as Sseremba, the chairperson of Sseremba shed said as traders, their focus is now on wanting to pay taxes because it is long over due and non payment leaves them in suspense and fear of being evicted any time.

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