Monday March 31 2014

Part of Owino market fenced off

Part of Owino Market that has been fenced off

Part of Owino Market that has been fenced off for repairs. PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA.  



A section of vendors at the controversial Parkyard market near Owino Market have been displaced after the management of Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium fenced off part of the market.

The move, according to the management of the stadium, is aimed at repairing the perimeter wall which was severely weakened by three previous fires which gutted the market.

“This is to bring to your notice that the authority ordered us to remove the wall as it amounts to a nuisance,” reads part of a March 26 letter by the chairperson of the stadium’s Finance Committee, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda.

“We humbly request that you and the vendors trading below the wall to vacate five metres away from the boundary wall along Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium. This will ease our work in removing this dilapidated perimeter wall,” the letter addressed to the chairperson of the vendors, Mr Hamza Kalema, adds in part.

By yesterday, the market space adjacent to the perimeter wall was already fenced off amid fears among vendors that the whole open space measuring about two acres would be reclaimed by the stadium.

Mr Ronnie Muyindi, a dealer in second-hand clothes, accused leaders of the market of betrayal since they had agreed not to give away part of the market until a relocation place is identified for them.

Mr Lawrence Luswaata, a secondhand belt dealer, said they have no option but to find space within the remaining part of the market, and warned their leaders against a ploy to divide the traders and later allow KCCA to take over the market.

Fires. Last December, the market caught fire which left hundreds of vendors counting losses. The fire was the third in a space of five years.

Illegal market. Majority of the vendors had since put up ramshackled sheds awaiting proper construction of new stalls .However, the city authorities argue that the market is illegal because it is not among the gazzetted markets in the city and attempts by Nakivubo Stadium management to evict the vendors have not been successful.