March 7, 2014

Battle Over Hoima’s 13.7Billion Market

Tempers flared during a Hoima Municipal council meeting on Thursday as the Mayor clashed with councilors over the new Hoima Modern Market.

HoimaThe Drama ensued after councilors put the mayor to task to explain how the new market allocation committee was elected without its knowledge. The market allocation committee is a 12 member team comprising of vendors, opinion leaders and technical officials. It will be responsible for allocating stalls in the new modern market.

The committee was elected last week in a meeting convened by the Mayor and the Town clerk at Hoima boma grounds.

But councilors claim they were excluded from process and as a result, they remain unaware of the composition of the committee and its guidelines.

The Male Youth representative to council Brian Kaboyo led the contesting team arguing that often times, they are informed of important decisions on such government projects only after they have been taken. He claims the trend implies that the council is taken for granted.

In response, The Mayor Grace Mary Mugasa stated that the councilors had no role in the selection of the new market allocation committee. She presented a letter from the ministry of Local government, which gave her guidelines to organize and guide the election process which did not spell out the need for involving councilors.

The town clerk Emmanuel Banya quelled the standoff by assuring councilors that the new market stalls allocation exercise will be done in a transparent manner. Banya explained that the Committee will follow the register to ensure that names of the original vendors are given priority.

Hoima is one of the Seven Ugandan towns in which modern markets were built under the African Development Bank funded Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Project-MATIP. Other markets have been built in Wandegeya, Lira, Gulu, Mbale, Jinja, and Fort Portal.

Hoima’s 13.7billion modern market is set for commissioning next month.

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