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Jinja Vendors Demand Permanent Allocation to Stalls

This followed the issuance of election guidelines for the market leadership by the municipal authorities on Thursday. According to the guidelines, the incumbent market chairman is meant to hand over office to the Principal Assistant Town Clerk, within three days, in preparation for the elections scheduled to take place in two months.
Police officers stop some vendors from storming outside the market.

Audio 3

More than 80 vendors from Jinja Central Market stormed the office of the Municipal Town Clerk Ambrose Ochieng last evening demanding permanent allocations of market stalls ahead of elections.

The vendors led by their chairperson Henry Mujimba peacefully marched outside the market through the different streets of Jinja town to the municipality’s headquarters at  Jinja Town Hall. However, the market was at the same time surrounded by Police Officers.

This followed the issuance of election guidelines for the market leadership by the municipal authorities on Thursday.  According to the guidelines, the incumbent market chairman is meant to hand over office to the Principal Assistant Town Clerk, within three days, in preparation for the elections scheduled to take place in two months.

But the vendors state that municipal authorities do not have the moral authority to take charge of the elections without sorting their grievances. The vendors allege that they have never received a permanent allocation to their stalls ever since the market was commissioned in 2014.

Tom Ssekambo, one of the vendors says that most of the stalls had been grabbed by area politicians but the current market leaders fought their way back to the market without necessarily having permanent allocations.

Ssekambo argues that they can only prepare for elections if municipal officials confirm their ownership of the stalls.

//Cue in; “jjo…

Cue out…bili,”.

Charles Masaba, another vendor says that the current voters’ register excludes those without permanent allocations from contesting for any post or even elec their preferred candidates.

//Cue in; “ndi musubuzi…

Cue out…mu’nteko.”//

The market chairperson says that he held a meeting with municipal authorities on the vendors’ grievances which comprise permanent allocations, garbage collection and utility payments, among others, but the Town Clerk issued guidelines without tackling any of them.

//Cue in; “town clerk…

Cue out…idembe lyaife.”//

Meanwhile, the municipality Public Relations Officer Rajab Kiito says that all vendors will be handed permanent allocations before the end of this year.