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Controversy As Owino Market Leadership Asks Vendors to Pay Arrears

Some of the vendors boycotted the payment of the market dues in 2012 claiming that St. Balikuddembe Market Stalls, Space and Lock up Shops Owners Association-SSLOA led by their Chairperson, Godfrey Kayongo doesn’t remit the fees to Kampala City Council Authority-KCCA.
04 Jul 2020 10:54
Non-operational cloth stalls in Owino Market

Audio 4

Tension is high among cloth vendors in St. Balikudembe market in Kampala following a decision by management to compel them to pay their market dues for the last five years once they finally resume their operations.

Some of the vendors boycotted the payment of the market dues in 2012 claiming that St. Balikuddembe Market Stalls, Space and Lock up Shops Owners Association-SSLOA led by their Chairperson, Godfrey Kayongo doesn’t remit the fees to Kampala City Council Authority-KCCA.    

According to an article published by New Vision of October 8th 2014, some traders halted payment on the orders of the former KCCA Director, Jennifer Musisi in 2014 banning the collection of market dues by the association from vendors with the exception of traders who bring in food stuff for garbage collection and cleaning toilets.

Another group stopped paying dues in 2017 following President Museveni’s July 22, 2017 letter to the Prime Minister banning the payment of daily levies on informal business groups such as market vendors and Gonja (roasted plantain sellers) among others.

He also allowed the vendors to pay annual license fees of Shillings 50,000. However, the vendors say the market leadership is now pressurizing them to pay the market arrears with threats of blocking them from operating if they fail to do so.

Simon Bukenya, the Defense Officer Lwasa House accuses management of taking advantage of the Corona Virus Disease to extort money from vendors. He says that the only fees they are aware is for garbage collection. 

//Cue in: “Batugamba nti bwoba …”  

Cue out: “… okusasula empooza yabwe.”//

Discontentedly, Aisha Mugereza, a cloth vendor in Muluuta House told URN that she has been forcefully paying a monthly charge of Shillings 13,500 despite being excluded by government from paying the levies.   

//Cue in: “Kati ffe engeri…”

Cue out: “… byetutamanyi kuba tetutukayo.”//  

Patrick Ssentongo, the Vice chairperson Cooperative St. Balikuddembe Garments calls upon the government to come to their rescue, saying a number of vendors are unable to pay the arrears since they are not working because of the Covid-19 lockdown.   

 

//Cue in: “Kati abefuula abkulembeze…”

Cue out: “… abantu bali bubi.”//  

The market Chairperson, Godfrey Kayongo, says that some vendors were misled not to pay the dues by the former KCCA Director; Jenifer Musisi who he alleges had plans of dismantling the market and sale it to private developers.     

He says that he cannot comment on their situation since they chose to detach themselves from the market leadership. According to Kayongo, St. Balikuddembe is a private market, which isn’t obliged to follow the orders of the KCCA Director in its operations. 

He however, said the vendors shall not be liable to payment of the arrears but will have to pay dues when they resume business.   

//Cue in: “Ekyo tekiliiyo, yagaana…” 

Cue out: “… ten thousand shillings.”//