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Masaka Mayor, Division Chairperson Clash Over Utilization Of New Market :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Masaka Mayor, Division Chairperson Clash Over Utilization Of New Market

Last year, the Minister of Local Government commissioned a Shillings 18.3 billion market in Masaka City; constructed under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program-MATIP-II, funded using a loan from the African Development Bank-ADB. However, the political leadership in the area has failed to agree on modalities for ensuring that the market is fully occupied, hence the open counteraccusations.
The New Masaka City Central Market which the Vendors are shunning drawing the local leadership in sharp disagreement

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A dispute has erupted between the Masaka City Council Mayor Florence Namayanja and Michael Mulindwa Nakumusana, the Chairperson for Nyendo-Mukungwe division, over the utilization of the new market infrastructure in the area.

The apparent disagreement, which has also metamorphosed into a public altercation between the leaders, arises from divergent opinions on the relocation of vendors into the new market.   

Last year, the Minister of Local Government commissioned a Shillings 18.3 billion market in Masaka City; constructed under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program-MATIP-II, funded using a loan from the African Development Bank-ADB.

However, the political leadership in the area has failed to agree on modalities for ensuring that the market is fully occupied, hence the open counter accusations. Nakumusana blames the City Mayor for frustrating efforts of persuading the vendors to occupy the new market, by allowing them to continue operating open-air weekly markets (locally referred to as Mubuulo) on the roadsides rather than seeking stalls.  

According to him, many vendors are vacating the stalls allocated to them in the new market to join their colleagues in makeshift stalls erected on the roadsides, rendering the multi-billion infrastructure partly unutilized, which also presents serious maintenance challenges. 

In the meantime, amid serious resistance from the city Mayor, Nakumusana is mobilizing vendors on weekly basis to occupy the yard and walkways of the new market; something he says is one of the ways of enticing them to seek stalls in the new structure. 

He also prefers that as a bait, some vendors be allocated free space in the market and be asked to begin paying rent after they have fully settled in. 

Luganda byte

//Cue in: “tesusobola kusaanyawo….. Cue out: ….mu makumi abiri.”//

However, Florence Namayanja, the Masaka City Mayor has declined the explanation, arguing that allowing vendors in the yard and walkways leads to unwanted congestion in the city’s central business area, which violates the established trade order. 

According to her, the rowdy vendor outside the new market blocks traffic flow and destroys the city’s beauty, because they stumble on the newly planted green vegetation in the road islands. 

Namayanja insists that some vendors can continue operating on temporary stalls on selected roads that exit the city, as the authorities work out means of settling them into the new market. 

The disagreement has also generated division and confusion among vendors who are still pondering on the appropriate direction to take. Chrysostom Kyobe Mutebi, the Chairperson of the weekly-market vendors threatens that they may be prompted to put their merchandise on the streets of the city, should the leadership fail to address the stalemate.   

Luganda byte

//Cue in: “naye ensonga z’akatale….  

Cue out; ….ayise wabirabira.”//   

Notably, the disagreement comes at a time when Masaka City Council is also struggling to maintain another Shillings 13 billion market in Nyendo township, which was constructed in 2017 but shunned by vendors over its architectural design which they argue is not conducive to their businesses. 

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