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Traders, Mechanics Fault Kabale Municipal Authorities for Failure to Zone Mwanjari Business Center

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Friday Noah and Aggrey Agaba, both motor vehicle mechanics say that when they were ordered to relocate from Garage Street to Mwanjari cemetery, the authorities assured them that the place was clearly zoned. They however say that on reaching, the cemetery, they found total confusion.
A lockup where local porridge is sold adjacent to a toilet (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

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Traders and mechanics operating in Mwanjari cemetery business center are up in arms against Kabale Municipality authorities for alleged failure to zone the place. In May this year, Kabale Municipal authorities forcefully relocated all motor vehicle and motorcycle mechanics from Garage street market in the central division, northern and southern divisions to Mwanjari cemetery business center. 

The business is found along Kabale-Katuna road in Southern Division, about 1.2 Kilometers away from the heart of Kabale town.  Also affected were taxis and buses that were operating opposite Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) offices in Kigongi along Kabale-Mbarara road as well as Kisoro Taxi Park commonly known as Esso along Kisoro road in Central Division.  

In 2019, the authorities moved some of the traders to the cemetery to pave way for the ongoing construction of the Shillings 23billion modern market under the World Bank-funded Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program – MATIP III. Authorities want to covert Garage Street into a business district.  

However, the mechanics and traders say that the authorities have failed to take steps to zone the market to ease their operations. They say currently mechanics are mixed up with hoteliers, bars, retail shops, saloons, shoe and clothes dealers.  They also cite another example of a porridge vendor operating adjacent to a toilet. 



Friday Noah and Aggrey Agaba, both motor vehicle mechanics say that when they were ordered to relocate from Garage Street to Mwanjari cemetery, the authorities assured them that the place was clearly zoned.  They however say that on reaching, the cemetery, they found total confusion. 

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Frank Tukamwesiga Kamaani, the Chairperson of Mwanjari Cemetery Mechanics Association says that the mixing up mechanics, hoteliers, porridge sellers and general merchandise traders compromise the hygiene in the business center. Tukamwesiga says that authorities have failed responsibility of making sure that the business Centre is organized. 

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Arthur Arineitwe and Edward Duhimbaze, both businessmen say that the municipality authorities rushed to relocate them one mission of making profits by renting the lockups they own in the cemetery.

They claim that because garages are mixed with bars, mechanics spend most of their time drinking alcohol instead of working.

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Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha, the Mayor Kabale Municipality says that although they have not yet fully zoned the business center, bicycle and motorcycle mechanics have remained adamant and continued operating in the corridors of the business Centre yet they were directed not to mix.

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