More than 100 market vendors from Kitgum airfield market in Pandwong
division have relocated and occupied pedestrian walkways and a roundabout in central
division in protest.
The vendors shifted on Saturday alleging that Kitgum municipal
officials have failed to enforce eviction of rival vendors currently occupying an
illegal market Tuma Atoo in central division.
About 1,000 vendors were relocated to Kitgum airfield market
in November 2018 to pave way for construction of a multi-billion modern market
in central division. However, a section of vendors moved away from the designated
market space citing poor sales, a move that sparked off protest from their counterparts.
Concy Atim, the chairperson of Kitgum main market vendors says
most of the vendors lost their capital after relocating to the airfield due to
She notes that the location of the market outside the central business
district has contributed to low sales among those at the airfield.
Atim says after 11 months of making loses, they have decided
to also join their counterparts to reap from the booming business in the ungazetted
Atil said during the relocation planning she suggested
that they give the vendors land near the hospital because it's near the
airfield market. All our capital we injected in several businesses since
January is now finished and some vendors have also abandoned their
lockups,” says Atim.
// cue in; “an macalo won…….
Cue out………….pe wagamo.”//
She also accuses the LCIII Chairperson of Central Division of
creating rift among the vendors by accommodating others to gain from revenue collection.
// cue in; “won kom me…………..
Cue out………..mito revenue.”//
Godfrey Toolit, the central division chairperson however
denied the allegations saying those selling at Tuma Atoo market are occupying a
private land which the vendors requested to use.
He says his office is open to any one intending to conduct business
as long as he or she uses the right channel.
William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner says
a meeting will be held with all the vendors after the festive season to ensure
how best they can be relocated back along with those in satellite markets.
The Kitgum municipal council town clerk could not comment on the
matter when contacted saying he was still attending a meeting.
Tension between the vendors and Kitgum Municipal Council
started late last year when the vendors abandoned Airfield Market and begun
operating in central division.
The rift grew into a legal battle when the vendors dragged
Kitgum municipal council to court over forcefully evicting them causing damages
to goods and stalls.