Former leaders of the demolished Park Yard vendors, purchase have accused the Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), of hypocrisy for allegedly coming out at the eleventh hour to prevent the redevelopment of the market after ignoring earlier persistent pleas for interventions to save their market.
The former chairman of Park Yard vendors, Kassim Ssebadduka, has described KCCA and Lukwago’s recent actions to block Hamisi Kiggundu’s redevelopment plan of Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium (NWMS), as a political gimmick, taking advantage of the plight of the poor for purposes of gaining political capital.
Ssebaduka’s bitterness follows the failed interventions of the two institutions to maintain the status quo of NWMS which included an ultimatum issued by KCCA and Lukwago to Kiggundu to halt the project and pull down the enclosure or face litigation.
“I have copies of several letters we have written to both Parliament and KCCA before our market was pulled down, persistently seeking assistance, but none of them came to our response on time to save our market,” Ssebaduka said.
“It is very saddening to some of us seeing them pretending to show great concern now when it is already too late! This is for their selfish political interests because we all know that they are looking at their re-election in coming elections,” Ssebaduka added
Former Park Yard defense secretary, Siraje Kagoya, has urged traders to ignore what he calls incitement from politicians whom he is accusing of discouraging vendors from taking up alternative stalls temporarily provided for in Kiggundu’s shopping mall, Usafi and Wandageya markets.
But Rubaga North Member of Parliament, Moses Kasibante ,one of the MPs who have been at the forefront of fighting to maintain the status of the market, has dismissed Ssebaduka and his executive committee as a traitors attempting to cover up for their sins.
“Ssebadduka and his team are talking like that because they are sellouts as all Park yard traders can testify,” Kasibante said.
“They are guilty and ashamed after selling their fellow traders to Kiggundu and I am very sure they are not looking good in their (traders) eyes and that is why they have to defend themselves like that on top of the heavy security that has been deployed to keep guard around them.” He added.
Meanwhile, KCCA’s technical wing last week released the re-development plan of the embattled project to Kiggundu at the orders of Kampala’s Minister, Beti Namisango Kamya; and has since flagged off the demolition of the old NWMS to give way for the construction works for a multibillion complex whose artistic impression is already hoisted at the site.