• No_Ads
Investigations into Owino fire underwayPublish Date: Dec 07, 2013
Investigations into Owino fire underway
  • mail
  • img
Fire fighters battled the fire that left goods worth millions of shillings burnt to the ground. PHOTO/Richard Sanya

By Andrew Ssenyonga

KAMPALA - Police in Kampala say they have started investigations into the cause of the mid-week fire that gutted Park-yard market in downtown Kampala.

The Wednesday morning fire that ate up merchandise worth millions of shillings was the fourth in as many years at the decades-old market.

Park-yard is an extension of St. Balikuddembe market, formerly called Owino.

Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi said Friday that the Inspector General of Police instituted a team which is carrying out the investigations.

“The IGP ordered the team to quickly carry out and produce investigations about what caused the fire at the park yard,” he said.

A report is expected to be produced in two weeks.

Owino has long been known as the hub for second-hand goods. Millions were lost in the Wednesday fire. PHOTO/Richard Sanya

The commissioned team is expected to finalize their investigations in time so that the cause of the fire is established to help avoid other similarly potential fire accidents.

No arrests have been made yet, but Ssenkumbi revealed that Police will swing into action if any names are pointed out in the expected report.

He went on to call for calm among the traders as investigations take shape and also urged anyone with key leads to report to police.

'Very unfair'

As has been with the previous fires at the market, this year’s inferno has been clouded with suspicions and has evoked a stark sense of bitterness among the affected traders.

One trader, who lost all that he had, said he does not know where to go.

“It is unfair. Very unfair.  Whoever did this has ruined my life, my family, my hopes,” he lamented.

WHAT NEXT?: A trader stands at the point where his stall stood before the fire. He lost everything. PHOTO/Richard Sanya

He tried to comb through what was left of his flattened stall, but all his fingers would lift were heaps of ashes.

“God knows what next,” he said.

Government has given the traders sh1bn as compensation and asked the vendors to form a committee that will work with government to access the funds.

Some traders have since gotten back to business.  The collective wish among the vendors is that government constructs a solid structure in place of the wooden stalls that cover a large section of the congested market.

Over 500,000 vendors ply their trade inside St. Balikuddembe market.

PICKING UP THE PIECES: Some traders have gotten back to business following the mid-week incident. PHOTO/Richard Sanya

Looking back at the fire, some people have been pointing blame fingers elsewhere.

Two months ago, unknown people circulated flyers threatening to burn the market, a matter that was allegedly reported to Owino Police Station.

Nakivubo stadium management claimed to have reported the matter to Owino Police Station which they claim police never took seriously.

“Police has never received any such reports and those allegations are uncalled for,” Ssenkumbi insisted.

He pressed that if there was any such case at any police station, the management should avail them with the case number and the name of the police station.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
MPs turn away NFA officials over late coming
THERE was a mild drama at parliament after the National Forestry Authority executive director Michael Mugisha and his team were ordered to go back after arriving late...
Aronda warns ID Project staff against arrogance
THE Internal Affairs minister, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima has promised to some ID Project staff who are rude to the people going to register...
Leaked recordings: Kidandala owns up
Kampala City deputy Lord Mayor, Suleiman Kidandala, has acknowledged taking part in leaked tape recordings.In his defense at a news conference in Kampala on Thursday, Kidandala said he did it for the good of the city and his boss, the embattled Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago....
URA says car claimed by Bobi Wine is for Red Cross
The Toyota Tundra pick-up which investigators had impounded from former Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) secretary General, Richard Nataka’s home in Munyonyo belongs to Red Cross....
Twenty graduates for internship
After undergoing a highly competitive selection process, at least 20 graduates have qualified for a nine month internship programme that will equip them entrepreneurship skills....
Another OPM official pinned over sh316m
The former assistant resettlement officer in prime minister’s office signed fuel authorisation forms that resulted into loss of sh316m, court heard Wednesday....
Is the return of Buganda Properties a sign of good Governance?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter