Vendors Protest Proposed Relocation of Market

2042 Views Ntungamo, Uganda

In short
Denis Singhache, the Ntungamo District LC V chairperson, says they held a meeting with the residents to explain why they need to vacate the roadside market.

The decision by Ntungamo district authorities to relocate Rwahi Onion market has drawn angry protests traders. 

Mid July this year, the district authorities resolved to move the roadside market to Katooma parish headquarters citing increased motor accidents, which have claimed the lives of more than 50 people in less than two years.

The latest accident occurred on July 7th claiming the lives of 10 people and injuring seven other critically at Rwahi trading center. The accident occurred when a truck registration number UAV 418 V veered off the road and rammed into vendors in the roadside market.

On January 8, 2016, a Kampala bound bus belonging to Kibungo coach registration number UAM 804 U rammed into a trailer registration number T 00220A/C 49809A at the same spot killing 12 people and injuring 25 others.  

The location of the market at a sharp bend makes the traders vulnerable to accidents as heavy vehicles fail to negotiate the spot. However, the traders are opposed to the decision to relocate the market to another place, saying it might affect their business. 

They fault the authorities for failing to consult them before making such a decision, which affects them directly. Alex Kabumburi, a trader at Rwahi market, says although the decision could have been taken to save their lives, but it has far reaching implications on their income.
According to Kabumburi, some of them had paid for their stalls up to the end of the year, saying they money will go to waste once they are moved. Sabiiti Rubegyemere, the area Local council two chairperson, says the decision to relocate the market is aimed at saving the lives of the vendors, saying they should embrace it. 

Denis Singhache, the Ntungamo District LC V chairperson, says they held a meeting with the residents to explain why they need to vacate the roadside market.

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Singhache says they are in talks with Uganda National Roads Authority to extend the road guards to the steep slope and implement other measures to check on the speed of motorists.


About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.