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Fresh Row Erupts between Kabale Municipal authorities, Transporters Over Maintenance of Mwanjari Cemetery

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In 2019, the authorities moved some of the traders to the cemetery to pave way for the ongoing construction of 23 billion Shillings modern market under the World Bank-funded Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program – MATIP III.
Bus Park in Mwanjari Cemetery Business Centre (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

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There is a fresh row between traders, mechanics, transporters and Kabale municipal authorities over the maintenance of Mwanjari market. Early this month, Kabale Municipal authorities forcefully relocated all motor vehicle and motorcycle mechanics from garage street market in the central division, northern and southern divisions to Mwanjari cemetery.

  The cemetery is found in Southern Division along Kabale-Katuna road about 1.2 Kilometers away from the heart of Kabale town. Authorities want to covert Garage Street into a business district. Also affected were taxi and bus drivers who were operating opposite Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) offices in Kigongi along Kabale-Mbarara road as well as Kisoro Taxi Park commonly known as Esso along Kisoro road in Central Division.  

    In 2019, the authorities moved some of the traders to the cemetery to pave way for the ongoing construction of 23 billion Shillings modern market under the World Bank-funded Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program – MATIP III. However, mechanics, taxi and bus operators and traders are now accusing the municipality of failing to maintain the park, a few weeks following their relocation.  

They claim that the bus and taxi parks are often dusty during the sunny weather and muddy whenever it rains. They say the parks have no drainage system to drain stagnant water. The mechanics, transporters and traders also say that the place is currently filthy because of the absence of cleaners and garbage collectors. They want the authorities to allow them to return to their former workplaces the heart of the town because the cemetery business Centre is not ready to host them.  

Noah Friday, one of the concerned mechanics says that the area has become a no go zone whenever it rains because the municipality has failed to apply marram. He says that the area is also full of uncollected garbage due to the absence of garbage skips. He says that as a result, their customers reach the entrance and turn away.    

Joshua Mutekanga, the Chairperson of Kabale Municipality Vendors Association, says it is also becoming very difficult to maintain security because police officers deployed there only work during daytime. Henry Kabila, another mechanic says that their original workplace was better compared to where they are now.

 

Kabila wonders why the authorities are not concerned to tarmac or pave the business Centre, which affects their operations yet Kabale is preparing to become a city in 2023. Ivan Komunda, a taxi operator along Kabale-Mbarara road, says that the failure by the municipality authorities to put the park to the expected standard is a sign of corruption.

  He says that because the park is always dusty during sunny days and muddy during rainy days, passengers are now forced to trek to Kyanamira sub-county about three

kilometres away from Kabale town to wait for taxis and buses.

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Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha, the Mayor of Kabale Municipality, says that it is the responsibility of the traders, mechanics, and transport operators to manage cleanliness by buying dust bins and sweep the market because the place is too big for authorities to deploy cleaners.   

  He also says that they cannot deploy cleaners yet traders, mechanics and transport operators have not yet started paying any dues to the municipality. He says that the municipality will only take there a garbage truck to collect garbage on selected days in the week. 

 

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