The speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has written to the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura seeking an investigation into the wrangles surrounding the management and allocation of stalls in the newly refurbished Jinja Central Market.
The request is based on a petition filed by a cross section of vendors led by Charles Busulwa, the Chairperson of Jinja Central Market Concerned Vendors.
Busulwa in his petition expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of a meeting held on Monday 5th January 2015 through which, a new allocation committee was established to foresee the allocation of stalls in the Market. The committee takes over mandate from an Interim security committee.
Busulwa is challenging the presence on the committee, of members who were co-opted from the interim committee which is supposed to be disbanded. Busulwa also expressed concern about the impending allocation on grounds that most of the vendors who occupied the market before its reconstruction were omitted from the list of stall owners.
The vendors are also concerned with the size and standard of the new market stalls saying that the original stalls were sub-divided to cater for storage facilities while the new stalls lack the storage unit.
They say that the small stalls are to increase vendor’s operational costs since all merchandise will have to be carried every evening to be kept in stores at a cost and that some vendors dealing in fragile items like glasses and others are likely to lose their property due to breakage.
Namulawa Brenda, a vendor dealing in second hand clothes in Jinja market expresses her dissatisfaction on the way stalls were built.
Kadaga says that she has given the Inspector General of Police a period of one week within which to find a solution to the wrangles in the newly constructed market. Kadaga noted that the vendors who originally worked in the old Jinja Central Market before it was gutted by fire should be priority as the allocation of stalls takes shape.
Over the last four years, tensions have been high between a 13-man interim committee led by Jackson Kabuzi and a parallel vendor’s faction headed by Charles Busulwa with either side accusing the other of causing havoc.
Initial reports indicate that the Monday 5th newly elected 13-member Allocation committee is headed by Jackson Kabuzi who also led the disbanded interim security committee and has 7 members from the concerned vendor’s faction headed by Charles Busulwa.
These will jointly oversee the process of relocating and allocating stalls to vendors in the recently commissioned magnificent structure built under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme – Project 1 (MATIP-1).