KCCA Asks Attorney General to Expedite Market Ordinance

Moses Mugisha Okwera, the Nakawa 1 councilor told URN the wrangles in city markets still prevail due to lack of uniform and recognised leadership.

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Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA wants the Attorney General to expedite the approval of the KCCA Market Ordinance in order to streamline the management of public markets in the city. 

The ordinance passed by KCCA in February 2019, as endorsed by the Kampala Minister, Beti Olive Kamya and passed on to the Attorney General for perusal and final approval before it is enforced. Ordinances, just like any other laws, are scrutinized by the Attorney General to ensure that they do not contradict existing laws.

Nakawa One Councilor Moses Mugisha Okwera says that the ordinance would require all KCCA markets to elect a leadership that would work with the authority. Okwera says voting cannot be conducted until the law providing for it is operationalized.  

He told URN that the wrangles in city markets still prevail due to lack of uniform and recognized leadership. 

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Okwera is one of the KCCA leaders who have been trying to resolve the leadership wrangles in Bugoloobi and Nakawa markets. He previously wrote to the office of the Lord Mayor seeking to halt the issuance of a sublease to a group of vendors in Bugoloobi main market. 

His involvement stems from a disagreement between Middle East Market vendors Association and Benghazi market vendors Association. The two groups have been at logger heads with the Benghazi group challenging the legitimacy of Middle East group. The former sought the involvement of the local leadership to block the latter from securing a sublease over the market, arguing that they were not satisfied with the intentions of the application for the sublease.

Zamini Masunge, the Kawempe Woman LCV councilor also chairperson of the standing committee on Gender, Community Service and Production, says that the conflicts in markets continue because of lack of proper leadership and favoritism in markets. Among the provisions of the ordinance is the election of market leadership that would serve for a three years non-renewable term. This she says hasn’t been possible because of lack of a supportive law. 

“Without the ordinance, our hands are tied. We cannot implement a law that is not operationalized. The ordinance clearly states the licensing system, the distance between markets, and the leadership in market among others. The wrangles in markets shall continue until the law is operationalized. They said they are working on it, we hope the process is expedited,” said Masunge. 

During the KCCA council meeting at City Hall last week, the KCCA Ag Executive Director, Eng. Andrew Kitaka said that KCCA was facing difficulty promoting orderliness in city markets due to lack of enabling laws. It is then that council learnt of a group of youths that had that morning attacked KCCA officials barring them from conducting any activity in Nakawa market despite the market being under KCCA. 

KCCA has since scheduled a meeting for Thursday 15th with the local leadership, vendors and the aggrieved parties in Nakawa market to establish their grievances. The meeting serves as a temporally measure to the challenges faced in the market management.

KCCA Spokesperson Peter Kaujju concurs with councilors that KCCA needs the ordinance to help in reorganizing city markets. He is optimistic that the Attorney General is working on all ordinances that were passed by KCCA.

Apart from the market vendors’ ordinance, KCCA passed the Child Protection Ordinance, Green Infrastructure Ordinance and the KCCA Fecal Sludge Ordinance but none has been approved by the Attorney General’s chambers yet.

Kaujju says KCCA is in touch with the Attorney General’s chamber and is optimistic that the ordinances will be approved and soon be presented to KCCA for implementation. 

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The Market Ordinance among others seeks to provide a comprehensive licensing regime for permanent, semi-permanent and temporary markets, harmonise market dues and provide a process through, which market leaders can be elected with term limits. 

The ordinance provides for a three year term for all leaders unlike the current system where they stay for years without any restriction.