Lira Market Vendors Accuse Municipal Concilors Of Extortion

3374 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
Over 1000 market vendors at Lira main market have petitioned the municipal council over what they call unfair charges by a section of local councilors.

Over 1000 market vendors at Lira main market have petitioned the municipal council over what they call unfair charges by a section of local councilors.

Currently, the vendors have been given an order to relocate to a new site to pave way for the construction of a new market. Constructed in 1954, Lira Main Market is set to be modification for a period of not less two-years, according to Ambrose Ocen, the Municipal town clerk.

The market is among seven countrywide to be constructed by the government through the ministry of trade and tourism, with funding from World Bank.

Less that half of the market vendors have acquired plots to erect temporary stores at the new site, according to Molly Okwir, a female vendor dealing in millet flour, who says she has missed out.

Okwir says she could not afford the 48,000 shillings, which the municipal councilors were collecting from most vendors. She alleges that each vendor was being asked to pay the said money before being allocated any plot.

Hellen Akullu, a second hand clothes dealer says she was asked to pay money but refuses to say the amount. According to her, most councilors shared key plots among themselves and later started collecting money from other vendors in order to give them the plots.

 But town clerk Ocen said his office is already investigating the allegations to establish which councilors collect money from the poor vendors. Ocen notes that all plots at the new site are being given freely to vendors adding that no one is supposed to pay.

The market construction, which will cost over 20 billion shillings, will see the market accommodate over 3000 vendors.
Municipal authorities are currently collecting 15 million shillings as monthly revenue.

The other markets to be developed include Jinja Central Market, Mbale Central Market, Wandegeya market, Hoima Central Market, Gulu Main Market, and Mpanga Market in Fort Portal.