The source of new controversies arises from a directive by the Minister of Local Government Adolphe Mwesige to establish a 26 men relocation committee, threaten to postpone the proposed re-opening and functioning of the new market expected mid next month.
On Monday, Dec 8, Mwesige convened a meeting of stakeholders in Jinja central market including representatives from the interim security committee led by Jackson Kabuzi and another for the concerned vendors led by Charles Busulwa in which he announced changes in the interim leadership of the market that will supervise the relocation of the vendors.
Perhaps unknown to him, Mwesige’s directive put two warring factions into the same bag, something that is proving to be a mistake.
According to the Minister the relocation committee will include 13 members from the Kabuzi’s interim committee, and 9 members from the Busulwa led vendor’s concern committee. Two other people named on the committee came from the municipality and ministry of local government.
The directive has already created fireworks and polarised traders and vendors, with many blaming either side of favouritism in the relocation of stalls in the new market.
Members of Kabuzi’s faction, which has wielded an upper hand in recent months, view the co-option of new members with a lot of jealousy.
“We cannot trust the Minister’s relocation committee that is infiltrated by moles who have been strongly criticizing Kabuzi’s leadership. Unless there is a hidden agenda behind this action of
failing some vendors from accessing stalls, ” Yousuf Kabaale, a hardware vendor and supporter of Kabuzi.
A member of the interim executive committee who preferred anonymity said that they are drafting a petition to challenge the minister’s committee because they are sceptical of its efficiency.
On the other hand, Busuulwa’s (opposition) camp accuses the interim committee of selling
out stalls to non members before the registered ones are considered.
Busuulwa’s group maintain that if the interim committee is not thoroughly checked, allocation of stalls shall not serve the best interests of vendors.
Busulwa said that Kabuzi’s committee had become gangster of robbers extorting money from the public under the guise of selling stalls to intending members of the public.
According to the minister, vendors are set to be relocated to the new magnificent market January 19, 2015. The market, considered one of the biggest and most beautiful public markets in the country, cost 28 billion shillings under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program- MATIP-1.
It was commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni on Monday November 17, 2014 with a call for unity to transform the community.