Individuals, Companies to Own Markets in New Market Reform Bill

Parliament has granted leave to Workers MP Margaret Rwabushaija to introduce the establishment and management of markets bill, 2019 that will allow individuals to own and set up markets.   

 Rwabushaija says the current Markets Act places the vital question of ownership of land and markets solely in the hands of local, central and the Government and yet, the constitution places land as a primary factor of production to Ugandans who have a right to trade, practice their profession among others.   

 She says the bill proposes remedies such as establishing the Market Management Committee which shall run the affairs of markets in Uganda, prohibit the operation of bars and lodges and, the sale of certain types of articles, goods and foods in the markets.   

Rwabushaija says that the bill seeks to include stakeholders like market vendors, private individuals, and companies that have joined the market business especially to manage and collect funds from vendors, provide cleaning and security services and offer credit facilities but are not mentioned in the markets act.

 She also hopes that the bill will enhance revenue collection which is currently mismanaged.

She says the bill aims at expanding markets with a view of promoting revenue collection.

The move is also aimed at solving the street vendors and hawker’s problems, among others since Uganda’s population is fast growing.   

Rwabushaija says there is an increasing number of vendors and the markets can no longer accommodate the increasing number of vendors and the markets are also very old and dilapidated. 

 “There is, therefore, need to provide sufficient space in markets, enhance the designs and layout of common market vending infrastructures such as lock-ups, stalls, warehousing, wholesale facilities and restaurants. There is also a need to provide for private services providers such as banks, clinics, offices and day-care centres for breastfeeding mothers.” Rwabushaija says.   

 She also says that the current legislation does not provide for the forum of dispute resolution given the current spate of market disputes between the market vendors and the controlling authority, and the new proposal is putting the chief Magistrates court as final court of appeal.  

Charles Bakabulindi the Workers MP says, the current Markets act is inadequate and does not match up to the current needs of the market development, management, and administration thereby greatly affecting the administration and management of markets. He says many Ugandans have and own land and they need to be empowered to own markets.   

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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