By Ambrose Kweronda
Justus Tinyinondi, a Tax Collector in Kabale Municipality is on the Spot for allegedly authorizing an illegal market with the intention of collecting levies.
A section of Vendors dealing in clothes from the Mwanjari weekly market in the Southern Division in Kabale Municipality shifted the venue to Central Division along Bwankosya Street near the Kabale Municipal Stadium.
This came after President Yoweri Museveni maintained the ban on all weekly markets in 10 districts with high COVID 19 Prevalence rates, including Kabale District.
The traders explained that at first, they thought Kabale Municipal Council would fault them for operating in a place not gazetted by authorities as a market.
They narrated that they were however surprised when Tinyinondi, the contractor in charge of markets started to charge them UGX 1000 every Monday and Friday when they convened along Bwankosya street for business.
The trouble started yesterday in the afternoon when the Kabale Municipality Law Enforcement Officers led by Naris Byebirooha stormed the area and confiscated the trade items accusing the owners of operating in a place not gazetted as a marketplace.
The Vendors said they were shocked because they had been paying taxes to an official contracted by the Municipal Council which according to them, was an indication that they had been permitted to carry out trade activities in the area.
Rosette Kushemererwa a widow and mother of four, said that confiscation of the trade items by law enforcement officers was an act of betrayal and total disregard of the suffering of the traders whose livelihood had been severed by the ban on weekly markets.
Catherine Ahumuza, said that she wondered why Kabale Weekly Markets were closed yet the traders who used to operate from the same markets are allowed to cross to Rukiga and Rubanda to participate in weekly markets in the two Districts.
Allen Nimusiima said she could not understand why the government had allowed mass gatherings in places of worship, buses, and the bigger markets in Kampala City, while weekly markets were still restricted.
By the time President Museveni declared Kabale as one of the Districts with high Prevalence rates of COVID-19 infections, Kabale Regional Referral Hospital was only second to Mbale and Soroti Hospitals in admissions.
According to statistics from the office of the District Health Officer, by 17th October 2021, Kabale had 120 active cases with 35 hospital admissions while 85 were under Home-based care treatment. The district has cumulatively registered 2,238 cases and 95 of them have succumbed to the virus since July 2020.
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