The Katuna Traders' Association, formed to give a voice to hundreds of small-scale businesses operating on the Uganda-Rwanda border, is mired in a political conflict.
Mariam Kyatuheire, a member of the Katuna Traders' Association, says security operatives from the Internal and External Security Organizations have been meddling in the affairs of the association since it was launched a month ago. She accuses the unnamed security operatives of frustrating the association's registration process and planting spies to undermine its work.
David Kakomo, chairperson of Katuna Traders' Association, names Robert Rwamuhanda, a parish chief in the area, as one of those behind the sabotage. He claims that Rwamuhanda is using his relationship with top security officers to intimidate members of the association.
Kakomo says the Katuna Traders' Association is being targeted because of reports that it is a front for the Forum for Democratic Change party. He says the association is apolitical and it exists purely to serve as a form for cross-border businesses.
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Albert Byamukama, secretary of the Katuna Traders' Association, says he has received a number of threats that the group will be deregistered because of its relationship with the FDC. He says this will not deter the association from its mission to improve business conditions for the traders.
The chairperson of the Kabale security committee, Cox Nyakairu, says he has not received an official complaint from the Katuna Traders Association.
The Katuna Traders Association was formed after a COMESA meeting in Kabale last month.