June 3, 2013

Vendors Panic Over Proposed Demolition of Market

More than 100 vendors operating in Habuyonza market in Kabale district are facing eviction as a result of the construction of Mbarara-Kabale–Katuna road. Habuyonza market, which was built in the 1990’s, allegedly seats on the road reserve. The market has modern stalls, shelter, storage and toilets facilities. Reynolds Construction Company that was contracted to build the road, has indicated plans to demolish Habuyonza market, which is a life line to hundreds of fresh vegetable dealers.

Kedress Kamugisha sells carrots. Kamugisha is worried of being kicked out of business because the road construction company has asked them to vacate the market to pave way for the road works. He explains that the market was located at a strategic location to target travelers to Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic republic of Congo. He says demolishing Habuyonza market will devastate the lives of several vendors who have been depending on it. Christopher Twakira, another vendor at Habuyonza market says that when they heard about the impending demolition of the market they went to inquire about the proposal but they were told it seats on a road reserve. He says the authorities also informed them that they were not entitled to any compensation.

Twakira says that they have written to Kabale district local government to help them find an alternative space from where they can conduct their business but they have not received any feedback. Dunstan Muhereza, the LC 3 chairperson Kaharo Sub County says they can’t afford to construct a new market because of lack of funds. Apollo Muhwezi, the public relations Officer Reynolds Construction Company insists that all the structures in the road reserve must go. He says they will not compromise on the matter. Patrick Besigye Keihwa, the Kabale LC chairperson says he is aware of impending demolition of the market.

He says that they have asked the road construction company to delay the demolition of the market to allow the district to find an alternative place to relocate the vendors.

Keihwa blames the impasse on lack of information on poor communication by the district authorities.

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