Politics of intrigue and seeking legitimacy is what many say has informed the consistent fights for leadership in the Kampala markets since the year 2022 began.
This situation has left questions on where the willingness lies to restore sanity amidst conflicting political leadership that has left vendors opposing leaders in their markets who are given authority without vendors’ consent. However, the technical leadership in the market calls for harmony for the betterment of the markets in the city.
In Kampala, conflicts, arrests and trading bitter statements are what have described the environment in the markets for a long. Usually, it is a question of battles for market leadership which has seen leadership hierarchies defined by political appointments and efforts to monopolize power as accused by the ruling party.
These are events re-occurring whenever presidential directives are given in the spirit of streamlining markets. It is however not clear how these reflect the will to restore sanity in markets whose leadership is not inclusive of vendor’s views.
What may seem silent, city authorities say that market restructuring is still underway and they shall deliver as expected by the beginning of next year.
However some political leaders in the move opposing the presidential directive as Erias Lukwago say, markets are being exploited through the consistent change of leadership in the different 16 markets that have had interim leaders for a long time.
“It is long overdue, it has spent over five months without being implemented, I am asking myself why President Museveni assented to the computer misuse act that was tabled after the market act”, Lukwago said
The former interim leader of St Balikuddembe Market commonly known as Owino market Suzan Kushaba says she revamped the market after a very long time of being ruled by unappointed people who were exploiting the market vendors in the market for two years.
Kushaba adds that a section of people on the technical side is exploiting President Museveni carrying out activities in the market without the President’s consent. She adds that certain city authorities have stalls in different public markets and they wouldn’t want to lose business through this reshuffle.
But questions continue to linger on who should take over the market and all other expenses in the market despite market former leaders like Kushaba saying the president should re-focus on market restructuring if there is a need for markets in the city.
In all the 16 public government markets, restructuring led to the exit of market leadership where some were forcefully taken out of the office and a few peacefully handed over reports to the office of KCCA to run the markets as per the president’s fresh directive.