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Busia market vendors protest registration charges

By Egessa Hajusu

Added 19th July 2016 10:06 PM

The government of Uganda will co-fund the project to the tune of $9.53m

The exercise of signing of memorandums of understating between vendors and Busia municipality council to pave way for construction of a modern market has been marred with bribery. 

Following the outcry from vendors over corruption, the Busia Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Kennedy Adhola Otiti has suspended the registration of vendors, a move which the vendors welcomed.

Busia Main Market is among the eleven markets countrywide to be constructed under the market agricultural improvement project (MATIP) using $84.21m loan from African Development Bank. 

The government of Uganda will co-fund the project to the tune of $9.53m.

According to the tentative milestone by the ministry of local government, vendors are supposed to vacate the market in February next year.  

The exercise which started seven days ago was being conducted by officials from the ministry of local government include site inspector Moses Juma, engineer Reuben Basima and Zaula Wete in conjunction with officials from Busia municipality council and leaders of the market vendors. 

 A section of current occupants petitioned Otiti to save them from what they described as broad day light robbery of paying between shillings 100,000 to 150,000 in order to register. 

They also alleged that although the current vendors were supposed to be registered first, strangers from other districts and locals who don’t operate in the market had been given the priority because they have the money. 

Addressing vendors at Busia fresh fish shade on Monday, Otiti directed that the exercise be temporary stopped and ordered officials from the ministry to go to his office.

He said the exercise was completely free of charge and asked whoever demanded for bribes from vendors in order to register them to politely refund the money or risk being arrested and prosecuted. 

Otiti said the exercise does not allow non-market vendors to sign memorandums, attracting thunderous applause from traders who praised him saying he had saved them.

"This is major exercise in ensuring that the new market is constructed," Otiti said adding that messing it up would lead to serious problems after its construction.

He said whatever had been compiled would be subjected to verification to ensure that only right beneficiaries and registered.

He advised  members of the public who intend to work in the market  but are not vendors currently to be patient and wait for its completion before they apply for stalls.

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