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260 Traders Kicked Out of Gulu Main Market

Florence Lallam, the Woman Councilor representing Pece –Laroo North Division in Gulu City who led the team for the exercise told URN in an interview that the traders who were deregistered from their shops were not present at the time of the verification exercise and that the vendors who were renting from them were the ones registered as the new shop owners.
Gulu Main Market in Larro Division visibly with very few people entering and coming out - Photo by Dominic Ochola

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Gulu City Council Authorities have deregistered 260 traders from Gulu Main Market after they were found to be subletting their lockup shops to other vendors.

This was during a two weekslong exercise that ended last Friday aimed at fresh verification and registration of the market vendors selling at the market as directed by the Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi on 22nd December last year.

The affected traders are under the Developers Association who first built their shops on the market land in 1991 and Gulu Market Owino Developers Association who acquired space to put up their shops from Gulu Municipal Council in 1998 in the land housing the current market. After the Main Market was built and commissioned in 2015, they were allocated shops, though some sub –rented it to other vendors.

Florence Lallam, the Woman Councilor representing Pece –Laroo North Division in Gulu City who led the team for the exercise told URN in an interview that the traders who were deregistered from their shops were not present at the time of the verification exercise and that the vendors who were renting from them were the ones registered as the new shop owners.

According to Lallam, the fresh verification and registration exercise will allow the active vendors to take over the ownership of the shops since they are the actual people that the City Council wants to deal with.

Lallam also revealed that after the completion of the exercise, the team will forward all the complaints to the appeal’s committee put in place to handle the complaints.

Albert Onyuta, the Chairman of Gulu Market Owino Developers Association who also lost ownership of his shop told URN in an interview that they used to rent out their lockup shops to other vendors even before the Gulu Main Market was built and that after they were allocated shops in the new market, they continued with the practice.

Lutukumoi Odoki, one of the traders kicked out from the market says they are preparing their documents in a bid to seek legal redress since they acquired the lockup shops legally.

Odoki also revealed that they shall sue the Gulu Main Market Vendors Association for inciting the vendors to beat them up in case they go to the market asking for money the vendors owe them for the shops.

// Cue in: “Because we had…//

Cue out …them for money.” //

Gulu Main Market is among five markets constructed in the first phase of the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program under the Ministry of Trade, Industries, and Cooperatives. The market was commissioned in 2015.