There is tension in Mbarara City Central Market as the market Chairman Emmanuel Muhumuza fights with the former chairman Mohammad Nyombi who has refused to handover the SACCO offices to the new market Leadership.
Mbarara Central Market Vendors SACCO was established in 2010 during the regime of Nyombi. A group of Vendors subscribed to this SACCO for savings and for loan services. Recently during the market relocation saga, the leadership of Nyombi was interdicted by Minister of Local Government Raphael Magyezi.
In the same way the SACCO was also halted from operating. In November, at the handover ceremony of the market Leadership, Nyombi was able to handover all the properties of the market to Muhumuza besides SACCO properties. On the same function, Muhumuza asked Nyombi in front of Mbarara City Leadership to also handover the SACCO offices but Nyombi rejected the request that he has to first sort some issues within the SACCO management.
Now as we talk, the fight has resumed again between the leadership of Central market vendors led by Chairman Muhumaza and the administration of the SACCO led by Nyombi.
On Wednesday, a team led by Nyombi held a meeting at Mbarara City South Division Main Hall where they met some members of the SACCO and elect a team of three people on Vetting committee. The vetting committee according to Nyombi will be responsible on the matters of elections for the new SACCO leadership.
According to Emmanuel Muhumuza, the Central Market Boss says that as the Leadership of Mbarara Central Market, they are not happy with the group of his tormentor Mohammad Nyombi on the way how they are carrying out their activities in the Mbarara Central Market especially when it comes to the Vendors’ SACCO. He says, Mbarara Central market got its SACCO which has been in operation for about 12 years and up to date the SACCO has been in the hands of the previous regime.
The current regime led by Muhumuza came into power on 7th November 2022. When the Current Chairman was swearing in, former chairman Nyombi and his leadership handed over all properties and other activities to his successor apart form the SACCO. Before the swearing in ceremony was closed, Muhumuza raised up and demanded from Nyombi that he should also handover the properties of same SACCO which Nyombi defied and asked for some time to first sort out himself with the SACCO.
At that same time, the Commercial officer Joseline Kiconco who witnessed the function intervened and told the two parties that as council they will have to first look through into the matter of the SACCO and then the handover will come at later stage, since then nothing has ever been done, the SACCO is till in the hands of Nyombi.
“After swearing in and after all the activities were done like handing over of everything, then there is one thing that was never handed over to me, that is the SACCO of the market and you know these vendors always come to me complaining on how they no longer access their Bank. Remember by the time we came into power, the previous leadership of this market was put on halt and their activities including the SACCO, then the bank was put on closure until recently when we have seen Nyombi and his group had started opening it and taking charge of it. Now they want to elect new Leadership which we suspect that Nyombi is behind the move, he wants to bounce back as the chairman of the same SACCO. I am the member of this SACCO, I am in charge of every property in this market the fact am the Chairman, these people have to first handover the SACCO to the leadership of the market and the elections will follow systematically. How can a person who was interdicted for the investigation into his cases to take place, still is the same person who is in charge of the SACCO and he is organising for elections. I will not be part of the SACCO elections until things are put in a proper way” said Muhumuza, market Chairman.
Muhumuza accuses the City Council leadership for the negligence on these matters of the Central Market SACCO. That they are the ones responsible for all messes and should be the ones to sort out confusion between the Market leadership and the group of the previous regime who have stayed in the SACCO leadership.
Some of the Vendors have claimed that they have always tried to access their money or for go loans but they are always chased and told that there is no money in the SACCO.
“I have been a member of Mbarara Central Market Vendors SACCO for some good years, but whenever I try to access my accounts am blocked that there is no money in the SACCO. I may not be having a lot of money in this SACCO but am legible to have loan from this SACCO. The leadership of Nyombi has not given us accountability, we no longer get invited for meetings to give us reports, the problem is between the leadership of Nyombi and his team. Let these people handover the SACCO to our new market Leadership because they no longer have powers on this SACCO” said Jane Nalongo, a Vendor.
Austin Mucurezi , a vendor of Merchandise shop at Buremba road said that he is a member of the SACCO but they are stuck because the SACCO seems not to be still operating.
” We have not been saving with this SACCO because the leadership of the SACCO told us that they want to first elect for the new leaders of the SACCO. I started saving with this SACCO like since 2012. Before the bank was put on closure I had about UGx 500,000= savings and I don’t even know whether that money is still there. The most important thing that we need as Vendors we need audit” said Mucurezi, a vendor.
Mohammad Nyombi speaking to this website explained that the Commercial Officer is the right person to direct him procedurally if to handover the SACCO to the current leadership of the Market.
“The chairman of the market and his people should go the the commercial officer and seek for the procedures on how the SACCO should be handed over. I want everything to be in a proper way. I have no any interest of contesting again as SACCO chairman because my terms are done and I need to rest, but they have to let me sort my self and do some audits before I handover this SACCO” Nyombi.
He added that they have chosen a Vetting committee, therefore they will wait for what the committee will come out with.
“The chairman of the Market is a member of the SACCO, if he feels interested to contest for the chairpersonship of the SACCO he has the right. Let him apply to the vetting committee and contest like others and stop mixing me into such confusion, me I have served and am done” he said.
When contacted the Mbarara City Acting Commercial Officer, Joseline Kiconco, she said that as council they have handled all cases and issues of central market, so they will also hand the issue of SACCO.
However, she said that the new leadership of the market should be reminded that there are two different entities which is Mbarara Central market and Mbarara Central Market Vendors SACCO. That the vendors will have the right to elect for their SACCO leaders but not necessarily that the SACCO has to be handed over the Market chairman to take the charge.