New proposed market site pits Magyezi against locals
Residents of Central Division in Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality on Wednesday expressed their dissatisfaction over the government’s plan to shift the construction of Bushenyi market from their area to Ishaka Division.
The disagreement came after the Speaker of Bushenyi-Ishaka, Mr Evaristo Mucunguzi, told residents that a commissioner in the Ministry of Local Government asked him to convene an extraordinary council to change the earlier resolution of constructing the market in Central Division and shift it to Ishaka.
The market construction, which is expected to start in February, will sit on 2.4 acres of land. The facility that is being funded by African Development Bank at Shs21b will host about 800 traders.
The residents led by the former Ugandan Ambassador to Australia, Mr Enock Nkuruho, and Valley University proprietor William Mukaira on Wednesday, said they will not accept to lose the opportunity of having the market.
“What will save us is to keep united, we have lost a number of other projects in the past, but for this very project, it will be a different case. Last Thursday, I went to the office of the mayor, Mr Richard Byaruhanga, [to seek guidance], but if it means using other means, we will do,” Mr Nkuriho said.
He said they are hopeful that the new market will attract more investment to Bushenyi Town. “It’s high time we came up and fought for what belongs to us, the market will not only lift the face of Bushenyi Town, but it will also attract more business ventures. If necessary, we will petition State House [for advice],” he said.
Mr William Mukaira, another resident and investor in Bushenyi Town, said since the government decided to develop Bushenyi Central Market, it should not attack conditions because the traders surrendered land for construction.
“It’s a shame that people with selfish interests have started to put their noses into the affairs of the market. When you look at conflicts in other markets, they begin in this same way,” he said.
Mr Nathan Byaruhanga Kabogooza, the chairperson of Bushenyi Central Market Association, accused politicians of orchestrating ill-plans to shift the market site to Ishaka.
“These people want to use both the Local Government minister Raphael Magyezi and Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipal Council to make a resolution to take away the market. If we want Bushenyi to grow, we must not let this project go anywhere,” he said.
Mr Magyezi told this newspaper that residents should write to the mayor and the council, asking them not to pass a resolution of shifting the market site.
“We had issues with officials of the African Development Bank who have been visiting all these sites where we are going to start the construction of markets. They came to Bushenyi [town] and they put a lot of question marks,” he said.
Mr Magyezi, however, said the proposal to have the market constructed in Ishaka Division is because it will bring more business opportunities. “We are proposing the Ishaka Division because of business and population there,’’ he said.
The mayor of Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality, Mr Richard Byaruhanga, however, said there is no cause for alarm because the market will remain in Bushenyi Town.
“The land at which this project will sit on is 2.4 acres and the land is in Bushenyi Town not in Ishaka. Maybe if there could be mafias who have started to fight the project, we need to know, people should remain focused otherwise this is a distraction,’’ he said.
Mr Seleverio Mukobi Byarufu, the Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality Town Clerk said, the municipality has an approved plan and land title about the market that will be constructed in Bushenyi Town.