Leadership rows divide Nyendo market vendors
A section of market vendors in Masaka City are divided over the market leadership they accuse of alleged mismanagement of the public market after a long stay in power.
The vendors decried the poor state of the market characterised by unhygienic conditions that compromise the health of both the vendors and the customers that turn up at the market for services.
While the term office for the Nyendo market leadership expired in 2019, the old leadership continues to occupy offices and reportedly issue threats of possible eviction to particular vendors who try to challenge their prolonged stay.
Ms Noeline Nassuna, a fish dealer, who operates her business at the basement section of the market, on Wednesday said: “We live in a very dirty environment as vendors. When we raise the complaints, the chairperson of the market threatens us with eviction.”
Mr Emmanuel Yiga, the chairperson of the Nyendo vegetable sellers group at the market, said: “In August 2022, the market leadership tried to organise an election that was later cancelled over alleged vendor register challenges. We got excited about the election but got saddened when the election was called off with unclear explanations.”
Mr Yiga said the old market leadership that appears oppressive is still interested in the leadership despite their failures to address the many challenges faced by the vendors at the market.
The vendors claimed that the water points inside the market have been closed for a long time without a clear explanation from the market leadership. The vendors now fetch water from points outside the market and incur additional expenses.
Mr John Ssendago, the chairperson of the Nyendo market vendors, in an interview with this paper on Wednesday, accused a section of the vendors of harbouring selfish interests against the leadership.
He added that the 2022 election was nullified to pave way for updating of the vendor register.
“Some of the vendors were missing from the register and new vendors who joined the market after the 2017 elections were not also considered. We need to have an updated register to ensure a fair election,” he said.
The market last held elections in 2017 and leaders have occupied offices since then even though the old leaders had a two-year term ending in 2019.
Mr Godfrey Bamanyisa, the outgoing Masaka City Clerk, in an interview with this paper, said he is optimistic that all the issues will be handled when the vendors get new leadership after an election expected in February this year.