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Dfcu puts up Owino Market for auction over Shs4.83b

A section of Owino Market, one of Uganda’s largest markets. FILE PHOTO

Dfcu Bank, under a warrant of court, has again put up two two pieces of land owned by St Balikudembe Market [ Owino Market] for auction over failure to pay a Shs4.83b debt.

In a notice published on Monday the High Court Execution Division said “whereas St Balikudembe Market was ordered to pay this court to the decree holder [Dfcu Bank] the sum of Shs4,835,23032, [the same] has not paid in satisfaction of the said order”.

“These are to command you to attach and sell by public auction at the time or date and subject to the conditions set out in the notification of sale to realise the sum of Shs4,835,230321, the immovable property of the said judgment debtor, St. Balikuddembe Market Stall,” the notice reads in part.

In September last year, the Registrar of the High Court’s Execution Division, Muse Musimbi issued an order allowing Dfcu Bank to proceed with the sale of St Balikudembe Market properties over failure to service the debt.

The debt arose from a loan, which Owino Market vendors obtained from Dfcu Bank in 2011 for the lease of land, on which the market sits, from Kampala Capital City Authority.

A food section in Owino Market. FILE PHOTO

The market’s management led by Godfrey Kayongo staked the land in Kisenyi, Kampala as collateral for the loan that had was  to be repaid in five years.

However, the vendors have since failed to repay the loan and Dfcu Bank is seeking to recover its money by disposing staked pieces of land including plot 1081 [0.047 hecatres] worth Shs2b and plot 1339 [0.335 haectres] worth Shs3b both in Mengo District Kibuga County, according to the notice.

This follows failure by the market leadership to honour an earlier agreement made on May 21, 2015 in which the market leadership, under St Balikuddembe Market Stalls, Space and Lock-Up Shops Owners Association had agreed to pay Dfcu Bank Shs3b within 90 days of the agreement.

The clothes and garment section in Owino Market. FILE PHOTO

In September, Wilberforce Mubiru, the markets spokesperson told Daily Monitor they had asked Dfcu Bank to allow them more time [one and a half years] to mobilise money from vendors many of whom had by then not paid the Shs1m that each vendor had been asked to pay.

According to Mubiru, out of the 10,000 vendors, under the association only 3,200 had by September fully paid the Shs1m with 6,000 paying half while 800 had not paid anything.

The leadership of Owino Market, led by Kayongo, has asked government to intervene as the impending sale will not only disorganise thousands of vendors but has the potential to distabilise the economy at a time when numbers in different sectors of the economy are not as desirable and reading right.