It is alleged that the law enforcement officers demolished more than 60 market stalls, 50 kiosks, seven butcheries and several food stalls.
Nuuludin Kintu looking at what remains of his business after demolition
Kyotera town council officials have abandoned their offices for fear of being lynched by vendors for impounding their merchandise worth millions of shillings during the demolition of their stalls and lockups. On Thursday last week, a team of Kyotera council law enforcement officers led by Tom Matovu and Livingstone Kasibante, the town clerk stormed Bethlehem and Market Streets and demolished lock up accusing the vendors of operating illegally. It is alleged that the law enforcement officers demolished more than 60 market stalls, 50 kiosks, seven butcheries and several food stalls. The officials also impounded the merchandise from the stalls drawing angry reactions from the vendors.
On Monday, the vendors threatened to storm the town council offices to demand for their merchandise that was impounded during the demolition exercise. Led by Frank Kasibante, the area LC V councilor the vendors faulted the authorities for demolishing the lockups and their stalls in the night. Kasibante says that they are questioning the eviction and demolition exercise because the vendors were not notified before the process took place. The councilor whose stall was also destroyed, accuses the town clerk and chief law enforcement officer of conniving with thugs to loot their merchandise. Kasibante says that they are considering suing the town council for illegal eviction and theft of their goods.
Jamil Basajabaka, a butcher says that in addition to impounding 20 kilograms of meat from his butchery the officials also took his weighing scale. Basajabaka says that he has not been able to work since the eviction exercise took place, yet he paid a licence of 80,000 shillings to the town council. Noordin Kintu, a chapatti vendor says that he had bought two trays of eggs when his stall was demolished. Kintu says that he is concerned on why the demolition exercise was executed at night. The officials of Kyotera council including the town clerk and law enforcement officer stayed away from their offices on Monday.
Only, the water office that is adjacent to the town council was open when our reporter when to speak to the town council authorities. Daisy Namatovu, a lady at Water offices told URN that all the officers had not worked on Monday. She said that she only saw one officer entering the tax offices but later closed it and left.
Livingstone Kasibante, the Kyotera Town Clerk denied claims that he had fled his offices for fear of being attacked by the vendors, saying that he was in his other office in Mbarara. When asked about the eviction of the vendors, Kasibante simply laughed and said he could not speak about it on phone because he didn’t know the person he was speaking too. Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo, the Kyotera MP says that he plans to invite the Town Council officials to a public hearing to explain why they carried out the eviction in the night.