Lira, Uganda| AFP | THE INDEPENDENT | Lira Resident District Commissioner, Milton Odongo has halted plans by municipal officials to relocate traders from produce Lane to a new area until the traders are consulted.
The decision stems from protests by the traders, saying they were never consulted on the proposal to relocate them. It came after Lira Municipal Town Clerk, David Kyasanku and Mayor; Mike Ogwang Olwa Veve announced plans on Wednesday to relocate the vendors from Awangemola road in the heart of Lira Town to Railways Division opposite Lira airfield.
The municipal officials said the decision is aimed at decongesting produce lane and allow for social distancing as well as create space for development ahead of the elevation of the municipality to a city.
However, some of the traders said they are not ready to move to the new site because they have already paid rent for their stores. They petitioned the Resident District Commissioner to intervene in the matter.
During the meeting with the traders, the RDC Milton Odongo suspended the relocation plans by the municipality for three months, saying traders should be consulted before a decision is made. He cautioned the municipal officials against using the Covid19 pandemic to execute their dubious plans.
However, the Mayor Mike Ogwang Olwa maintains that nothing and no one will stop Lira municipality from implementing its plans. He said that even traders operating hardware shops along Obote Avenue will at one point be forced to vacate or construct warehouses outside town.
Bosco Ocen, a prominent businessman accused the municipal authorities of often using relocation programs as a means to get money.
Anna Okwir, the former Chairperson of the produce business community, said the proposed location belongs to the Civil Aviation Authority and traders can’t go there.
Deo Kibirije, the incumbent chairperson Lira business community informed the RDC that he wasn’t aware of their proposed relocation.