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Vendors Protest Illegal Allocation of Space in Kitooro Market

In June 920 vendors were allocated space in the market, but more than 40 vendors who were in the old Kitooro market and those formerly at Lubigi market in Lugongo-Nakiwogo village say they have not been allocated space in the new market.
An empty stall inside the market

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Vendors in Kitooro Market are accusing the leaders of fraudulently allocating space in the new market. The market is under the Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Projects (MATIP-2 Program).

In June 920 vendors were allocated space in the market, but more than 40 vendors who were in the old Kitooro market and those formerly at Lubigi market in Lugongo-Nakiwogo village say they have not been allocated space in the new market.

They claim that the leaders are pocketing bribes to allocate space to outsiders. The market leaders include Isabirye Marijan, the chairman, his deputy Abubaker Bukenya and Salim Ssemujja Mazembe.

He, however, insists that they will insist that only traders who appear on the list, which was used during the relocation exercise, are given priority.

Vincent Byaruhanga, a shopkeeper in the old Kitooro market, says he was not given a lockup in the new market. According to Byaruhanga, the leaders asked him to pay 5 Million Shillings.

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Two vendors who preferred anonymity said that their stalls were allocated to another person because she failed to pay 800,000 Shillings and 1 Million Shillings respectively. 

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However, Isabirye denies the allegations saying that he was not a member of the space allocation committee. He advised the vendors to channel their grievances to the Council leadership.

Hassan Kikomeko, the Chairperson of Entebbe Municipality youth council, says that the local leaders and technical staff must intervene. He also wants vendors to elect new leaders. 

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Godfrey Bandinga, the Municipal Development Forum-MDF Chairperson says that they are investigating the vendors’ complaints.

"We are still receiving complaints and also evidence from the aggrieved vendors. We shall compile a report of our findings next week and engage the Town Clerk's office so that we resolve this matter,” Bandinga said.

Charles Magumba, the Entebbe Town Clerk dismissed the claims saying that the matter was handled. According to Magumba, the new market can't accommodate more than 1,000 traders. 

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