Kitooro Market Vendors Demand Reduction of Rent Charges

Entebbe Municipal Council expects to collect One Billion Shillings from the market in the 2021/2022 financial year.
The main entrance of Kitooro Market

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Kitooro Market vendors have asked the Entebbe Municipal authorities to reduce the rent charges on stalls and lock-up shops.

The market is one of the 12 modern markets constructed under the Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Projects -MATIP-2 Program. Other markets include Busia, Masaka, Kasese, Arua, Soroti, Mbarara, Moroto, Tororo, Lugazi, Kitgum, and Kabale.  The market currently has 1,097 vendors allocated stalls and lock-up shops.

Entebbe Municipal Council expects to collect One Billion Shillings from the market in the 2021/2022 financial year.

According to the rates set by the council, traders with stalls for food, fresh vegetables, and Matooke pay 20,000 Shillings, stalls for fish, fruits, and charcoal 30,000 while those with butcheries and chicken cages 80,000 Shillings per month.

Lock-up shop owners are also paying between 80,000 Shillings and 490,000 depending on the location of the shop. 

Some of the traders in the fish section say only 10 out of 72 vendors in the section currently sell inside the market due to the high rent and also few customers.   They blame the operations of roadside markets in Kitooro, Entebbe town.

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Isabirye Marijan, the chairman of Kitooro Central Market says that the vendors should not pay rent until the municipal address the challenge of roadside vendors. He says that less than 500 vendors are operating in the market due to high rent and few customers.

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Isabirye says the municipal council should have considered what traders were paying before construction started.  Before their relocation to pave way for the construction of the new market, the vendors were paying 4,000 to 7,000 Shillings per month for stalls and kiosks respectively. 

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Samson Ssemakula, the Agricultural Officer at Entebbe Municipal Council, says vendors were given a tax holiday of two months when the market opened in June. 

Ssemakula, who is also the market master at Kitooro Market, however, says the vendors should pay until a final decision is made.

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Meanwhile, some vendors led by Samuel Sseninde say the council should address other issues besides reducing rent.   Sseninde says the municipal council should also reduce fees for water and electricity and ensure the daily collection of garbage.

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