Vendors in the newly constructed 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 Shs50,000= while those with butcheries and chicken cages will pay Shs100,000= monthly.
Kiosk owners will pay between Shs150,000= and Shs300,000= depending on the location of the kiosk while the community halls, clinic, nursery and daycare, SACCO office and banks will pay Shs1m. The municipality targets to collect 100 million shillings each month from the market, which translates into Shs1.2bn 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 neighborhood 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 Shs4000= and Shs7,000= in market dues for stalls and kiosks respectively.
Marijan 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 Shs10,000 and Shs15,000 respectively for stalls and kiosks. He added that 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 finalise on the issue of the market rates.
For two years now, traders who were vacated from Kitooro market to pave way for the construction and upgrade of the market, have been operating in kiosks and a few able ones, managed to rent space on adjacent buildings. The market project which was expected to be complete in June, was delayed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
In 2013 the World Bank Board approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$150 million to finance urban infrastructure and improve service delivery in 14 municipalities in Uganda. The six-year project is to expand urban infrastructure, and enhance the capacity of the 14 municipal local governments to generate own source revenues, improve urban planning, and strengthen financial management, procurement, environmental and social systems.