Gulu Market Daycare Centre Turned Into URA Office

2734 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
Vendors operating in Gulu Main Market have protested a decision by the Municipal Council to give away the markets daycare centre to Uganda Revenue Authority URA and Uganda Registration Services Bureau URSB.

Vendors operating in Gulu Main Market have protested a decision by the Municipal Council to give away the market's daycare centre to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).
  
URA and URSB are to use the facility as a one-stop service centre.
 
According to Patrick Omoya, the market chairman, the giveaway which took place on Friday evening caught them unaware. Omoya says the Municipal Council and the office of the town clerk decided to give away the Daycare centre without consulting vendors and taking other factors into consideration.
 
Omoya noted that the only reason the council gave a few weeks ago was that they are trying to bring services closer to the people and that included Tax Identification Number (TIN) registration. Omoya adds that they don't understand the motives behind this move because the office of URA is less than 100 metres away.
 
He says alternatively, URA and URSB could have rented somewhere else than taking over the Daycare centre because there are vendors who had their children at the facility.
 
Lucy Akello, a mother who had her child at the facility says she was told a few weeks ago that the centre is closing down; adding that she now goes with her daughter to the stall as she is looking for a nearby Daycare centre.
 
John Oola, the assistant town clerk of Gulu Municipality, says the move to install the one-stop service centre at the market is to get TIN registration closer to the vendors and encourage them to start paying taxes so as to enable better service delivery by the council.
 
He however declined to comment on their choice of giving away the Daycare centre instead of other facilities within the market.
 
The new main market was planned with children's playground, Daycare centre, clinic and other facilities which are no longer functional.
  
With 474 shops, 1,040 stalls and space to accommodate up to 4.500 business people, Gulu Main Market is among the seven markets built in different parts of the country with funding from the African Development Bank. Others are Lira Central Market in Lira, Jinja Central Market in Jinja, Mbale Main Market in Mbale, Wandegeya Market in Kampala, Hoima Central Market in Hoima, and  Mpanga Market in Fort Portal.