What you need to know:
- Daily Monitor has learnt that before the creation of Soroti City, Arapai Cattle Market was a major source of revenue for the district, bringing in close to Shs50m each year.
A wrangle has erupted between Soroti District and Soroti City Council over ownership of Arapai Cattle Market.
Prior to creation of Soroti City, the market, which operates only on Thursday, was run by the district.
The two entities are unwilling to reach a compromise on the matter and are now operating parallel cattle markets, three kilometres from each other.
Daily Monitor has learnt that before the creation of Soroti City, Arapai Cattle Market was a major source of revenue for the district, bringing in close to Shs50m each year.
Soroti City councillors say the area where the market is located was annexed to Soroti City and, therefore, ceases to be property of the district.
The city speaker, Ms Juliet Agunyo, said the district ceased to have jurisdiction over the area upon its annexation to the city.
“The city needs revenue and that market is one of the sources we are looking at,” she said.
However, Mr Simon Edoru, the Soroti District chairperson, said the market is still the property of the district local government.
“Those trying to create a similar market are fraudulently trying to find a place to make quick money,” Mr Edoru said.
He added that Arapai Cattle Market is one of the key sources of income for the district, saying any attempt to take it away from the district is a deliberate attempt to cripple operations of the district local government.
“We shall protect the interests of the district to the very end,” Mr Edoru said.
Ms Rose Alaso, the Arapai Sub-county woman councillor, said because of the fights, the sub-county has remained with no definite source of income.
“The activities which the sub-county used to implement have been buried. We shall fight on for ownership of Arapai Cattle Market to remain at the district level,” she said last Friday.
Mr Simon Peter Emetu, the Arapao Sub-county chairperson, said he has never seen cities running cattle markets.
“Cattle markets are for the rural communities. We shall deal with the people who are trying to fight us,” Mr Emetu told residents of Arapai in Odukai Village last Friday.
He added that they have petitioned the Ministry of Local Government to have the matter settled as soon as possible.
“All our revenue sources like Teso College Aloet, meat packers, fruit factory, sub-county headquarters, have been taken to the city. Now they want the cattle market. No way! We shall fight,” Mr Emetu said.
On Wednesday last week, district and city officials run radio announcements rallying people to do business in their respective markets.