KCCA Staff, Officials on the Spot Over Usafi Market Mess

Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago speaking to Usafi Market vendors on Thursday

Vendors in Usafi market have blamed the mess the market is in today, doctor on officials and staff of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) “and their selfish interests in the facility.”

On Thursday afternoon, ampoule Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago made an impromptu visit and held a consultative meeting with the vendors, pharm ahead of his appearance before the parliamentary committee on presidential affairs where he was summoned with other top managers at KCCA, to explain the confusion reported at Usafi.

In the meeting, the vendors decried the brutality of KCCA staff and other officials while passing orders down to them.

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“Initially, the market was bought by government to resettle street vendors but this is not happening. Every aspect in the market including leadership is done by KCCA officials who have the right to admit and dismiss any vendor from the market,” said one Ramathan Kayanga.

“Most of the stalls and lockups that were originally meant to be occupied by vendors have been taken up by officials from KCCA. Many of the officials have multiple lockups and stalls in the market yet scores of vendors have nowhere to operate from.”

As the meeting gained heat, the vendors cited KCCA deputy spokesperson Robert Kalumba whom they said has more than 10 stalls and lockups yet most of them who had more than one stall lost them.

The angry vendors told the Lord Mayor that on several occasions, officials from KCCA have sold stalls and lockups without notifying the owners to leave.

“We don’t have leadership in the market but rather friends and relatives of the officials from KCCA who were appointed at City Hall. We have never held a single meeting as vendors in the market to discuss issues concerning us, but those officials decide what we should do,” noted Annet  Nassaazi,a charcoal dealer.

 Market Fees

The vendors told the meeting that KCCA officials were levying them hiked fees yet  there are a few customers coming to the market. The authoritative leadership from City Hall, they said, has kept many of their colleagues away from the market.

Lukwago is expected to explain the hullabaloo at Usafi Market before Parliament

Lukwago is expected to explain the hullabaloo at Usafi Market before Parliament

“Many of our colleagues who would have wanted to come to the market have remained on the streets because of the authoritative rule by KCCA officials. This partly accounts for the small number of customers who come to the market as most of them buy from the street vendors,” noted Richard Bakundine.

“KCCA charges Shs 480,000 for each of the lockups per month. We cannot even get that amount from sales due to limited number of customers. The market that government purchased for street vendors has turned out to be a den of KCCA thieves.”

Many traders who were present at the start of market cried foul for losing their stalls and lockups to friends and relatives to KCCA officials.

“We are asking for a grace period or government bailout so we can reclaim the market,” urged Shafick Wafula.

Assurance to Vendors

In response, Lukwago said the issues of Usafi market need to be solved quickly or else many people could be rendered jobless and turn into criminals to destabilize the city.

“The market has many departments and the issue of self -governance is very crucial. We cannot allow leadership and other officials from City Hall to give orders here because the market was purchased by government for street vendors,” Luwago said.

He added, “We will have to look into the list of lockup  and stall owners so we can weed out the big fish who want to cause mayhem in the market which is unfair. How can we convince street vendors to come to the market when it is embroiled in chaos?”

The Lord Mayor said he would table before parliament the problems of the vendors when he appears before the committee.

On the purchase of the market, Lukwago said documents in his office indicate that the wooden Usafi was bought at a whooping Shs39billion, and that government still owes shs20.5bn to its owner.

“We need to critically look into the details of the purchase of the market and find solutions to the problems surrounding it.”

The Presidential Affairs Committee  in Parliament this week summoned Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, KCCA  Executive Director Jennifer Musisi and Kampala Minister Betty Kampala to appear and explain issues concerning the plight of vendors, boda boda cyclists, taxi drivers and operation of markets  in the city.

The committee had got concerned over the mystery concerning the purchase of Usafi market after reports emerged that some vendors were being pushed out of the market.


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