MBARARA CITY LEADERS IN ANOTHER MARKET SAGA AT NYAMITYOBORA
By our Reporter
Mbarara – The regime of Mbarara City Mayor Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi has seen days when the electorates keep accusing them of incompetence and corruption in issues concerning lockups ownership in markets.
Whistleblowers from Mbarara town have already reported to the Minister of Local Government Raphael Magyezi indicating that Mbarara City Councilors have allegedly given themselves allocations for lockups at Nyamityobora daily market. This market is one of biggest and busiest markets in Mbarara, located in Kijungu Nyamityobora ward Mbarara City South.
This market has two sections, the one which space was allocated to the vendors and contracted themselves lockups, this was done long time ago. During the allocations by that time by the former council they reserved a space which was left unconstructed for future plans and it was being used by weekly market vendors.
Recently in November 2021, Mbarara City council led by Mayor Robert Kakyebezi passed a motion that this space should also be constructed for lockups. On 24th and 25th December a group of people came up and constructed about 45 lockups on that space.
According to our sources, it has been revealed that all the 17 City Councilors from Mbarara City Council paid 2.5m to construct a lockup on that space. The rest of the lockups are owned by other rich vendors who also managed to pay 2.5m for their lockups construction. After this, a group of whistleblowers reported these matters to Minister Magyezi claiming that it was unlawful for city Councilors to allocate themselves spaces in this market.
According to Bright Muhumuza while speaking to our reporter, he said that as a concerned Citizen he realized that it was unlawful for the Councilors to give themselves spaces and construct thereon lockups. Some of the Vendors who were working from that area were restricted from getting allocations, and that some could not afford the money the council had injected in.
Muhumuza who is the former aspirant for Mbarara City South Member of Parliament said that through his Lawyer Paddy Vincent, they have already reported these matters to the relevant authorities and petitioned Minister Magyezi. Furthermore stressed that they cannot allow corruption by Mbarara City Leadership in Mbarara Central market and Nyamityobora Market. Recently while on one of the radio talk shows in Mbarara, Magyezi requested for a petition from the concerned people who feel unfair on how these spaces were allocated, especially the matter of Nyamityobora Market.
While speaking to Mayor Kakyebezi he said that it’s true council allocated spaces on Nyamityobora Market basing on council minutes as it was requested by the vendors who were working from that allocated space. it is said that a group of vendors from that market wrote to Mbarara City Council and asked that they should be allocated space to construct some temporary lockups to boost their businesses, According to Kakyebezi. Kakyebezi further told this website that after the request from the vendors, council passed a resolution to the effect that the free space at Nyamityobora be allocated to vendors to construct their lockups. He rubbished allegations that his councilors own all lockups in this market.
All this came after the council was tipped-off that Mbarara is going to get another modern market from the ministry of local government. Recently minister Magyezi indicated that he already has another 18 markets to be constructed in municipalities and Cities in Uganda. He said that Mbarara is also on the list to get a second modern market, therefore council should identify a suitable area where this market can be constructed. Kakyebezi identified Nyamityobora Market as the best area where this market has to be constructed.
As we speak, confusion and saga at Mbarara Central market are not about to end due lockup allocations issues. The market was commissioned months ago but it is still closed. Fresh registration of vendors is not yet even finished. Investigations are also ongoing about some individuals who got money from people for lockups allocation. Minister Magyezi is expected in Mbarara this week for two days starting from Wednesday and Thursday to sort out issues concerning Central market allocations.
While speaking to Mbarara RCC Lt. Col. James Mwesigye said that Mbarara City Council is messing everything due to corruption. He said that he received complaints about Nyamityobora market in which City Councilors have given spaces to themselves which is wrong. it is alleged that the process of allocating space at Nyamityobora was unfairly done, and despite the council meetings, it was unfair for councilors to allocate themselves space in the market.