In their miscellaneous application number (NO.0075/2019 and No. 0024/2018) before Kabale High court, the traders accused Kabale Municipality of defying the extension of the interim court order restraining it and its agents from evicting and demolishing the market until February 11, 2020, when the main application will be heard.
Kabale Municipality has lost a
contempt of court case and has been ordered to pay fine of Shillings 150
million. It follows a suit filed by traders and lockup owners under Kabale Central Market Traders
Association (KCTA) led by their chairperson, Simon Mashemererwa in August 2019
accusing the municipality for demolishing Kabale Central Market in disregard of
a court order.
The municipality demolished the
market on August 24, 2019 to pave way for the planned reconstruction of the market
under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program - MATIP III.
The municipality ordered the traders to Kabale Police playground in Kigongi
along Kabale-Mbarara Highway and Mwanjari cemetery in Southern Division along
In their miscellaneous application
number (NO.0075/2019 and No. 0024/2018) before Kabale High court, the traders
accused Kabale Municipality of defying the extension of the interim court order
restraining it and its agents from evicting and demolishing the market until
February 11, 2020, when the main application will be heard.
The main application had been filed
by Kabale Central Market Traders Association in April 2019 seeking an interim
injunction halting the registration exercise by the municipality ahead of the
planned market construction. The traders argued that the registration was being
carried out without the involvement of their leadership, lack of the necessary
information regarding the exercise, market designs for scrutiny and Memorandum
Despite the extension of the interim
injunction, Kabale municipal authorities led by Joseph Bagonza Monday, Kabale
Municipality town clerk and Mayor, Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha demolished the
market. The authorities sold bricks, iron bars and some of the iron sheets
that were removed from the demolished lockups and kept in the municipal yard.
In his ruling
delivered on Thursday afternoon in Kabale High Court, Justice Moses Kawumi
Kazibwe, found the municipal authorities guilty of disobeying a lawful court
order. He said the authorities used force and instructed law
enforcement officers to pluck off iron sheets from lockups despite protests by
ordered Kabale Municipality to pay Shillings 100 million to Kabale Central
Market Traders Association as general damages as well as other costs of the
suit. Kawumi also ordered Kabale municipality to pay more than Shillings 50
million as a sanction for contemptuous conduct.
He however, lifted the temporary injunction and allowed Kabale Municipality
authorities to start constructing the market as the hearing of the main
application continues. Kawumi also
ordered that Byamugisha and Monday be arrested and be committed to civil prison
for contempt of court.
Speaking to our reporter shortly after the ruling, Simon
Mashemererwa, the Chairperson Kabale Central Market Traders Association
expressed joy, saying court has considered the outcry of the traders.
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Richard Muhanguzi, the councilor representing Kirigime ward
welcomed the judgment, saying the Municipal authorities acted defiantly instead
of following the law. Muhanguzi said the market was demolished without a
said the punishment will indirectly affect tax payers, adding that the
municipality is likely to lose more cases resulting from Byamugisha and
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The Kabale Town Clerk, Joseph Bagonza Monday declined to
comment on the matter.
Sentaro Byamugisha, Kabale Municipal Mayor, said they are still analyzing the
judgment to see if they can appeal. Byamugisha argues that the
market was demolished by traders themselves but not authorities.