Opinion: Markets endangered in Kampala, by Mzee and his cronies!
“Fury, angst and despair as hundreds are evicted from Park yard market. The once vibrant market is now a sea of rubble. Is it high time such rickety structures left the city center or is KCCA impinging on the core rights of the masses? Only responses in well-written English will be tolerated” (The Kampala Sun, 27.02.2017).
The traditional market of trade between small vendors and their costumer’s are under fire, not really burning, but still they are stopped. Honourable Beti Kamya, the Minister for Kampala has decreed closure of markets and such, as well as KCCA has unleashed a permit that stops others. Therefore two markets are eaten by a pivot from the State with Minister Kamya and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) under the leadership of Dr. Jennifer Musisi, who has taken power over the Owino Market. While both ladies are working against vendors and the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago , who doesn’t believe in this sort of decree without any procedure in either Authority or at the local councils. Therefore the sanctioned rule should go through the Mayor and also the KCCA. Something, the decree didn’t as it was served from the hand of Minister Kamya without any consideration of the rest of the leadership and government structure of the capital of Kampala. That was something that was bound to happen… though the innocent part is he vendors who are under-fire by the State Minister who doesn’t see their turmoil or trouble at all.
“Security has sealed off Nakivubo park-yard market before the ’30 days’ ultimatum given to vendors by Minister Beti Kamya to vacate elapses. Last week, the minister issued a directive ordering vendors at the Park Yard market to vacate citing lack of enough toilets which was a health threat. Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said Minister Beti Kamya was ‘just politicking’ over the market since she didn’t have an alternative for the vendors. Some vendors have vowed not to leave the market until they are killed” (NBS Television, 27.02.2017).
“Mayhem masterminded by state agencies!!!! How could Police organise goons to lynch and/or harm KCCA elected leaders and MPS in course of executing our duties in the city centre!?.. Mr. Kayihura and Madam Betty Kamya, what motivated you to put our lives in harm’s way?. Our visit to park yard market was lawful as it was sanctioned by a resolution of the Authority that convened this morning. You invade the market on a Sunday night, cordon off the entire place without a court warrant or hoarding permit from KCCA, and then unleash terror on the business community and learders?. Terrible!!!” (Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, 27.02.2017).
Owino Market has been closed because of the issue with DFCU bank that the vendors there in total owns the bank Shs. 4.8bn. Therefore this is a current issue with bankers, but the strange act is that the Police sealed off the market and even destroyed the old vendors’ places, like they want to trade it off and get rid-off the old small-time vendors who have kept stalls there. Today the market was officially sealed off, with the police cars and metal fences by the authorities.
So know we know that the DFCU who just bought Crane Bank after it was under care-taking by the Bank of Uganda. So the funds used to by Crane Bank has to earned back, because DFCU needs profits, as they are even use their newly found wealth to take away the possibility for one of the most popular markets in Kampala. You can wonder who is investing directly and who else has greased the wheels of the minister.
The pictures of football stadium that was planned back in 2013 has resurfaced with pictures of investor together with President Yoweri Museveni that must have sparked the opportunity to pay for the sanction land and given permission to destroy the vendors place to trade goods, which has been a popular market.
If there are other unions of vendors who is struggling with debt like the Owino, expect the bank to erase the place, fill it with investors who knocks on the State House doors and gives permission to crash the place, fill it with fancy malls that won’t be affordable for other than ones on top of Nakasero Hill or Bugolobi, the rest of Kampala cannot afford even soda inside the new furnished extravagant building. The same will happen around this project where the bank DFCU and State has shaken each other’s hand, given envelopes and made sure to get a go ahead.
Because of this they have even gone further, they we’re given 30 days to vacate the premises on the 7th February 2017 after a decree made by Minister Beti Kamya, so by my rare calculation they should be taken away by the 9th March 2017. So that the State together with the Police was invading the premises last night and this morning; that being 26th and 27th February they did it instead.
So the state of Uganda doesn’t need to be transparent or accountable, as long as they have possible to gain monies into the state coffers and getting vouched from the state house. Rule of law doesn’t matter as long as Mzee says “do it” or “yes”. That what seems to have happen, the vendors and traders loses their ground because of investors has spoken at the state house. Shows the matter of how involved the state house is in all business deals in Uganda. That shows if you have strawmen to send to the state house, the police and the local authorities to work for the corporation. So that the locals or others with “debt” or lacking “titles” can be evicted, that seems like way the legitimize their acts towards the ones who has had the land in the past.
The same happens in Owino or at the Park Yard marked. There are no mercy, only eviction so that a football stadium and other futuristic building appearing there, because President Museveni said it was okay. Peace.