City eviction leaves 100 stranded
Posted Tuesday, February 26 2013 at 02:00
In an operation led by court bailiffs and anti-riot police, handicraft traders at the Jua Kali Market are alleged to have been occupying the Nsambya land illegally.
Court bailiffs and anti-riot police yesterday sealed off Jua-Kali Market in Nsambya, a city suburb, and ordered more than 100 handicraft traders to vacate the land.
The market has been attracting a number of tourists, who often have interest in rare artifacts, which they buy as souvenirs. Mr Vincent Mubiru, a trader, said they relocated to the disputed land after being evicted from Nsambya streets in 2008.
The executive director of Spear Link Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs, Mr Moses Kirunda, said plots 4-14 and 26A-28A along Kinyoro Road and Nsambya Road respectively, previously belonged to the Uganda Railways Corporation, but were later sold to Uganda Land Commission.
According to Mr Kirunda, the Land Commission has since sold the plots to investors, whom he declined to name. “We have served notices to these traders because the owners want to re-develop the land but they have refused to leave and this morning, I was instructed to carry out the eviction,” Mr Kirunda said.
However, the chairperson of Jua-Kali Traders Association, Mr Tom Baluku, denied claims that they had been notified. “We got a court order in November last year restraining any evictions and we also met Mr Andrew Kaweesi [police commander Kampala Metropolitan] who guaranteed us that the order would not be violated,” Mr Baluku said.