Vendors under Ms Mbarara Central Market Vendors Association are threatening to stage a huge demonstration next week to protest the award of the tender to manage their market to Ms Wajo Enterprises. Recently Mbarara Municipality called for bids to manage the revenue from in Mbarara central market. Ms Mbarara Central Market Vendors Association and Ms Wajo Enterprises that was managing the market submitted their bids.
Ms Wajo Enterprises emerged the winner of the bid to continue managing revenue collection in Mbarara central Market. However, this has not gone down well with the vendors under Mbarara Central Market Vendors Association. The vendors argue that Mbarara municipal council procurement Committee should have taken into account the Ministry of Local Government Policy on management of markets in towns, municipalities and city which demands that vendors be given first priority to manage markets.
Mohammed Nyombi, the chairman of Mbarara Central Market Vendors Association says that the new policy does not allow private companies or businessmen other than market vendors’ associations to manage markets. A letter dated Dec 23, 2010 signed by Adolf Mwesigye, the minister of local government states that Private companies and individual persons with running management contracts to run markets should be allowed to complete their contract periods and there after the management of markets will revert to the vendors associations, provided, they are well organized and have demonstrated capacity to manage the market.
Nyombi says that they have vowed not allow Ms Wajo Enterprises to continue managing the market because they are well organized to handle it themselves. He says that they have given the municipality an ultimatum of Seven days to cancel the contract or else they take to the streets. The vendors say are overburdened by the monthly sanitation and security fees and gate collections.
According to the vendors if they had been given the contract to manage the market they would some of the money to meet the huge operational costs. Paul Omoko, Mbarara Town clerk says that the vendors lost their bid because they didn’t submit their Income tax clearance certificate, a copy of powers of attorney and VAT registration certificate. Omoko however says that he has received the vendor’s petition and is working on the modalities to transfer the tender to the vendors association.