UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni recently rejected a bid by business mogul, Mr Qausem Othman, the managing director of Al-Ameri Intel Company East Africa, who wanted to buy St Balikuddembe Market, also known as Owino. Mr Othman had invited the president to attend the Owino groundbreaking ceremony earlier this year on the 25th of May 2021.
However, in June, the President responded through one of his advisors, Lieutenant General Proscovia Nalweyiso, rejecting Othman’s request. This was done through a letter that Nalweyiso delivered, which read, “This letter therefore serves to inform you that the groundbreaking cannot take place.”
Museveni further advised that if Mr Othman was very interested in the market-building business, he should acquire land, build a market and then lease it to the vendors.
Mr Othman led the market’s renovation by the Stalls, Spaces and Lock-up Owners Association (SSLOA), which ran the market in 2010. The association lost that authority and passed it to the government through the KCCA, which is the caretaker of all markets in Kampala.
This prompted the interim chairperson of the market association, Ms Suzan Kushaba, to respond.
She said, “We will not allow any company to come up and disturb the traders in the name of redeveloping the market because there is a presidential directive which still stands. I would like to ask the traders to remain calm as the government handles the matter.”
The president has always been interested in ensuring that vendors run markets. In 2019, he set up a committee led by General Moses Ali to revise that issue.
In the same year, the committee returned with a report suggesting that the government take over and maintain the markets.
In the same breath, the government is in line to take over and refurbish other markets such as Kiseka and Nakasero. Mr Luyimbazi noted that the government was still waiting on legal paperwork to commence taking over the markets.
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