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Moroto Authorities Feud Over Cattle Market

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The market was under Nadunget Sub County until April, this year, when the Local Government Ministry merged 20 new villages from the neighbouring sub-counties with the municipality. However, the two sub-counties had earlier agreed to allow the operations of the market to continue in the same location pending council resolutions.
Business at Naitakwae market.

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A row has erupted between Nadunget Sub County and South Division in Moroto district over the ownership of Naitakwae cattle Market in Naitakwae village. 

The market was under Nadunget Sub County until April, this year, when the Local Government Ministry merged 20 new villages from the neighbouring sub-counties with the municipality. However, the two sub-counties had earlier agreed to allow the operations of the market to continue in the same location pending council resolutions.

But at the beginning of this month, Nadunget sub-county authorities relocated the market to a new area opposite Moroto Airfield. While traders were trying to adjust to the changes, South Division authorities aired radio announcements and notices asking traders to return to the old ground.

In the market, chaos almost erupted when revenue collectors from the two authorities showed up for work.

Gideon Longole, the Senior Assistant Town Clerk in charge of South Division says the division acted on concerns from the community on the relocation of the market that he notes is distant for town dwellers.

He explains that much as the market was initially under Nadunget, shifting it to the new location on the same date inconveniences traders and the community. 

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But Longoremoe Lote, the Nadunget Sub-county Chairman says South Division is hungry for revenue from the market. He explained that discussions on the relocation of the market from the school land started several years back when the education department raised concern over its proximity to the school.

“First, they are encroaching on our viallges because the pronouncement by the Minister has not been formalized. It was so surprising when I heard the announcements over the radio that were followed by traders getting back to Naitakwae, two weeks after conducting business in the new area”, he said. 

Lokwameri Chumwale, the LCI Chairman of Namatwae Village in Nadunget Sub County faults the local leaders for causing the confusion in the market. He wants Naitakwae Market to remain operational on Monday in its current location, urging Nadunget leadership to design another date for the market in their area.

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Both parties insist that the market will be in their respective areas on Monday.   Information obtained on the ground indicates that part of the land where the market has been belongs to private individuals while the bigger part is for the school.  

Longoremoe revealed that the land where the market has been operating is meant for Naitakwae Primary School playground.