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Masaka Commercial Officer on Spot for Revoking License of Milk Traders

But Fred Kuhubwa, Cooperative Society Chairperson has petitioned the Masaka City Town Clerk demanding for an inquiry into Mugerwa’s actions, which he argues are out of malice and dishonesty.
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The Senior Commercial Officer for Masaka City Council is on the spot for cancelling the trading license of milk dealers.

Joseph Ronald Mugerwa is accused of using his office to oppress some milk dealers with intentions of kicking them out of business, based on individual biases and meeting selfish interests.

Early this week, Mugerwa revoked the trading license of Bwera Dairy Farmers’ Cooperative Society, accusing the owners of failure to conform to quality standards of operating a Dairy shop.

But Fred Kuhubwa, Cooperative Society Chairperson has petitioned the Masaka City Town Clerk demanding an inquiry into Mugerwa’s actions, which he argues is out of malice and dishonesty.

The cooperative operates a Dairy shop along Edward Avenue in Masaka town, but according to Mugerwa, the owners failed to obtain a certificate of suitability of the business premises in which they operate from.

In his letter that revoked the trading license, Mugerwa is also accused of among other things failure to secure an inspector certificate from the City Health Inspector, flouting procedures while obtaining the trading license, bringing milk from areas quarantined for Foot and Mouth Disease, selling at a price that is far below the standard market rate which leads to over congesting of people in one place without following the Covid-19 SOPs among other things.

Mugerwa ordered the business to instantly close its operations until it rectifies all the cited anomalies as well as harmonized positions with Masaka City Milk Traders Association on setting a standard price for milk in the area.

But in his protest, Cooperative Chairperson accuses Mugerwa of having a conflict of interests which executing his office duties and peddling falsehoods against their business conducts that require urgent scrutiny. 

Kuhubwa also accuses Mugerwa of deliberately acting on rumours and peddling falsehoods against his businesses, after he was compromised by a section of local milk dealers who are profiteering from selling adulterated milk.

He argues that despite them having a certificate of operations from the milk dealers’ regulator; Diary Development Authority-DDA, the Commercial Officer went ahead to revoke their trading license without according them a fair hearing.

 “The management of the cooperative believes, all the allegations and falsehood is calculated and fostered by milk vendors in Masaka city that have been operating illegal milk trade since they are not authorized by Dairy Development Authority to trade in milk with an intention to exorbitantly hike milk prices to cheat unsuspecting consumers in Masaka City,” the petition reads in part.

Kuhubwa protests what he describes as a clear trade war by unscrupulous milk vendors conniving with officers in authority, to frustrate his business.  He has also threatened to drag both the City Council and the Commercial officer to court should they effect what he describes as an irregular revocation of his license.

“This indicates the syndicate and corruption in the office of the Commercial Officer in a bid to pave way for vendors’ illegal milk trade operations that are not even authorized by Dairy Development Authority, which requires your urgent attention” he noted.

Despite the allegations of corruption labelled against him, Mugerwa maintains that the business will have to close until it rectifies all the cited inconsistencies. He argues that his sole interest is to ensure proper trade order in the area, saying he will abdicate on his responsibility for what he describes as baseless allegations and threats.

Emmanuel Gakyalo, the Masaka City Deputy Town Clerk confirms receiving the petition, saying management will study to guide their appropriate decision.