Kabale- Kabale Municipality leaders and traders have attributed the delayed completion of Kabale Central Market to court cases and a bureaucratic procurement process.
The market has been listed for development under the African Development Bank-funded Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvements Project (MATIP) at a cost of Shs24.6b. Reconstruction was scheduled to begin on May 2.
On April 1, the Kabale Town Clerk, Mr Joseph Monday, issued a notice, asking all the traders to vacate the market premises by May 1 to pave way for the demolition of the existing structures and the commencement of the reconstruction of the new market.
However, Kabale registrar Didas Muhumuza issued an interim order, restraining Kabale Municipal Council from evicting the vendors and demolishing the market until the traders’ main suit was heard and determined.
The former municipality speaker, Mr Richard Muhanguzi, on Tuesday explained that the delayed reconstruction of the market has been as a result of lack of transparency.
“Authorities at Kabale Central Market failed to listen to the demands of the traders that have lock-up shops with running leases for 49 years,” Mr Muhanguzi said.
He added: “Some traders went to court, seeking redress. These many cases and the court order are behind the delayed reconstruction of the market.”
In December last year, a group of traders under their umbrella body, Kabale Central Market Traders Association (KCTA), filed an application before court, seeking for an interim order to stop the municipal authorities from registering vendors and traders until the main application is determined.
Justice Moses Kazibwe Kawumi then quashed the town clerk’s directive issued to all the traders in the market to vacate the premises by May 2.
However, the town clerk has downplayed the impact of court cases on the construction of the market. He instead attributed the project delay to the delayed procurement of a contractor and the project consultant. “Court cases shall be handled concurrently but the main issue is the delayed procurement process. Once this process is conclusively done, the construction process shall begin immediately,” Mr Monday said.