Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Vendors in the newly built Kitooro Market have rejected the proposed rates by Entebbe municipal authorities. The new market was built under the Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Projects (MATIP-2 Program), which seeks to develop and enhance the capacity of market infrastructure, to induce production and marketing agricultural commodities.
According to the proposed rates, traders with stalls for food, fresh vegetables and Matooke will pay Shillings 30,000, stalls for fish, fruits and charcoal will pay Shillings 50,000 while those with butcheries and chicken cages will pay Shillings 100,000 monthly.
Kiosk owners will pay between Shillings 150,000 and shillings 300,000 depending on the location of the kiosk while the community halls, clinic, nursery and daycare, SACCO office and banks will pay Shillings one million. The municipality targets to collect Shillings 100 million each month from the market, which translates into Shillings 1.2 billion annually.
However, some vendors have opposed the proposed market rates, saying they are exorbitant.
Isabirye Marijan, the chairman Kitooro Central Market, says the proposed market rates are very high.
He says the council should have considered what traders were paying before, what operators in the neighbourhood pay and the rates in some markets such as Busia, Soroti, Lira and Gulu among others. Prior to their relocation to pave way for the construction of the new market in 2017, the vendors were paying between Shillings 4000 and 7000 in market dues for stalls and kiosks respectively.
He wonders how traders will pay the proposed rates yet some of them failed to pay dues in the past. He says the market leaders have proposed that traders should pay Shillings 10,000 and Shillings 15,000 respectively for stalls and kiosks. Isabirye says the local government ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with traders in 2016, which is silent on the market dues.
Charles Magumba, the Entebbe Town Clerk says the technical wing will meet the market leaders to finalize on the issue of the market rates.
In Gulu central market, traders pay between Shillings 10,000 and Shillings 50,000 for stalls. The market was opened in 2016. George William Tukei, the Soroti City Commercial Officer, says the absence of a city council has delayed the approval of the Soroti market rates.
He notes that the Technical Planning Committee-TPC of the city has proposed a minimum of 50,000 for stalls while the rates for the offices, restaurant, and salon and banking hall among others will be decided next week.
However, the eleven MATIP-2 markets including Kitooro, Soroti, Busia, Arua, Kasese and Mbarara are still closed due to the delayed conclusion of verification of traders and decision on the market rates.