Market fees halted over garbage
Posted Thursday, February 7 2013 at 02:00
Health concerns. Mbarara traders say it unfair for them to pay taxes yet the market is in a sorry state.
Authorities in Kakiika Sub-county, Mbarara have halted collection of taxes from traders in Koranorya Daily Market until the district local government improves its hygiene.
The LC3 chairperson, Mr Benon Mugume, on Monday said the market, which brings in Shs9 million in revenue per month, has a heap of garbage that has spent more than two years uncollected and poor pit-latrines.
Mr Mugume said it was unfair for the district to keep levying taxes yet the services it delivers are poor.
“The equipment we need to clear this garbage is at the district but since June last year, we have been demanding in writing that they clean the market but in vain,” Mr Mugume said.
He added: “We have failed to construct a Shs25 million flush toilet because of inadequate funds yet part of the revenue is taken to the district. We shall not keep cheating our traders.”
Mr Abdalla Byabagambi, a trader, said he was amazed by the indifference of officials yet they pay taxes.
“The heap of the garbage has covered a quarter of the market space and the pit-latrines are almost full yet I pay taxes daily when I enter the market with my pickup,” Mr Byabagambi said.
Mr Paul Barigye, a butcher, also said they fear an outbreak of diseases if the garbage is not collected.
“Whenever people come to buy my meat, they turn away when they see it covered with flies from the garbage,” Mr Barigye said.
An employee of the tenderer, who preferred anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the press, said they also found the garbage last year when they took over the market.
The district secretary for works, Mr Asaph Muhangi, on Tuesday said they had told sub-county authorities to be patient because the wheel loader had mechanical problems and was in garage.
“We suggested that we give them a lorry and they provide loading labour but they declined. We had no option but to wait until the wheel loader is out of the garage,” Mr Muhangi said.