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Kabale Market Saga: Fresh Vendors Verification, Lockups Allocation Finally Kicks Off :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Kabale Market Saga: Fresh Vendors Verification, Lockups Allocation Finally Kicks Off

In July 2023, Minister Magyezi ordered a fresh allocation of lockups and stalls in the new central market after meeting dissatisfied vendors who had raised concerns about irregularities in the initial allocation process.
Rev.Canon Jack Katarishangwa exchanging bitter words with Town clerk Justin Barekye (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

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The verification and allocation of stalls and lockups at Kabale Central Market in Kabale Municipality has finally commenced amidst tight security and dissatisfaction among some vendors. The exercise presided over by Raphael Magyezi, the Local Government Minister, began on Saturday afternoon and is scheduled to run until Monday, May 27, 2024.   

In July 2023, Minister Magyezi ordered a fresh allocation of lockups and stalls in the new central market after meeting dissatisfied vendors who had raised concerns about irregularities in the initial allocation process. The Minister also halted revenue collection by municipal council authorities and pledged to return within a month to oversee the new allocation exercise.   

In February 2023, Magyezi ordered the arrest and suspension of Fidelis Akankwasa, the Kabale Municipality Commercial Officer, following allegations from dissatisfied vendors of mismanagement in the allocation process, including the alleged sale of lockups and stalls at inflated prices. Although Akankwasa was arrested in December 2023, he was released on police bond after a week and subsequently reinstated to his position.   

Magyezi’s delay in returning to address the issues angered vendors, leading them to threaten demonstrations and clash with members of the parliamentary committee on Public Service and Local Government, led by Ben Batom Koryong, MP for Dopoth West County, and Jimmy Lwanga, MP for Njeru Municipality, during their visit to the market in March 2024.   

On Saturday evening, Magyezi informed vendors that under the new guidelines, they will sign an agreement with Kabale Municipal Council after both parties agree on new terms and conditions. Among these terms, an assessment will be done every two years, and in the third year, vendors will be required to reapply. 

Those who have become wealthy will be advised to seek other locations, thereby giving space to the poorer vendors.   Magyezi also mentioned that the new guidelines stipulate that a vendor can have only one lockup. Additionally, the authorities, in collaboration with the police, will arrest those found occupying lockups through fraudulent means. 

However, some vendors, led by Rev. Canon Jack Katarishangwa, accused Magyezi of conducting the fresh allocation and verification using a list provided by Justin Barekye, the Kabale Municipality Town Clerk. Katarishangwa alleges that Barekye’s list includes ineligible vendors, such as civil servants.

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In response, Magyezi explained that he has three lists: one from municipal authorities, another from disgruntled vendors, and another documented by the Local Government Ministry. He assured that all the lists will be used to determine the real situation. 

  

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In 2019, Chong Chong International Construction (CICO), a Chinese company, was contracted to upgrade the Kabale market under the World Bank-funded Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program (MATIP III), with a budget of 23 billion Shillings. The market was handed over to the government in December 2022.