Vendors at Napier Market in Jinja municipality are up in arms over the alleged disappearance of the land title holding their market.
Speaking through their chairman Suleiman Lwanga at the main Parliamentary building in Kampala last week, the vendors failed to meet Kadaga who was reportedly busy with other national duties.
“We are not going to sit back until we are assured of the whereabouts of our land title, ” Lwanga said adding that “We are tired of being told stories each time we begin asking about the land title of that market.
The angry vendors claim foul play by the Jinja Municipality Town Clerk David Kyasanku whom they accuse of failing to declare the whereabouts of the land title.
The vendors say that President Museveni had back in December last year, asked for the availability of the land title before committing government to develop the two-acre piece of land into a modern market.
While commissioning the Jinja Central market which was financed by government last year, president Museveni promised that Napier market was next in line.
Vendors are concerned that if the town clerk has created an impression that the land is either missing or encumbered upon, this would hinder the development of the market.
The vendors’ fears were escalated three weeks ago when the Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige revealed that following his discovery “that Napier market land had been sold out”, he went ahead and struck it off the list of the 11 markets to be constructed this financial year under the markets and Agricultural improvement programme – a multi – million dollar project supported by the government in conjunction with the African Development Bank.
But the Jinja municipality Mayor Baswale Kezaala countered the claims by saying that the land is still available with a proof of its blue print which he says has taken them a year to get from the district land board.
Kezaala instead pushed blame on minister Adolf Mwesige, whom he blamed for ‘making reckless and irresponsible statements that incited the public.’
“I don’t blame the business community for reacting the way they have reacted after hearing such a statements from such a high profile person,” Kezaala stated accusing Mwesige of ill will. He threatened to petition the President over the matter.
But the wrangles in Napier market are a reflection of similar wrangles over markets in several other parts of the country stemming from ownership of land.
Efforts to get a comment from Jinja Municipality Town clerk David Kyasanku were futile since he was not picking his phone.