Entebbe to close open air markets, ban fresh food vending

Entebbe to close open air markets, ban fresh food vending

Lurinda addressing journalists. PHOTO URN

Wakiso, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Entebbe Municipal Council will from effective July 1st, 2024 close all weekly open air markets popularly known as “kabubbu” except for one in Kitooro, Mayor Fabrice Lurinda has announced.

Also banned are mobile delivery vans or trucks vending food stuffs, which he said will be impounded and their owners charged accordingly.

Briefing journalists on various aspects in his jurisdiction on Friday, Lurinda explained that the decision had been taken by the council following realization that the two distribution systems affected business performance in the main markets, which paid monthly dues to the municipal council.

Entebbe Municipality has been running four popular open air markets a week including Kitooro on Tuesday, Kigungu on Thursday, Nakiwogo Saturday and Central Market on Friday. Various other open air markets are also operated in the neighbouring Katabi Town Council jurisdiction in Baita-ababiri, Kisembi, Kawuku among others.

“If the lorry or van man keeps distributing at the lowest price, the woman paying rent in the market is out of business. This is reason the person in the market deserves protection,” says Lurinda.

He said for the same reason of protecting the established market vendors, council had kicked absentee stall owners who were over charging the vendors.

Lurinda also explained that the markets also affected council revenue because vendors therein paid only shs 3,000 compared to established market vendors who paid dues ranging from shs 2,5000 to shs 200,000 a month.

The open air markets, the mayor explained has also had contrary impact to the objectives for which markets like Kitooro were constructed under the MATIP (Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Project).

The decisions, Lurinda said also followed realization that the MATIP markets all over Uganda had proved a liability other than an asset because their maintenance was higher than the revenue generated.  He said on average the council collected about shs 4million from the market (Kitooro) and conversely expended shs 21million for maintenance of the market, was unacceptable.

Though the vendors in the established markets were happy, colleagues who operated in the open air markets told URN they were distraught about the decision. They said they are also paying dues and if needed council should simply have implemented a small increment of the charges they pay.

Lurinda said those who felt undone by the decision just needed to relocate to the established markets where stalls were still available.



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