Former Park Yard Vendors Rush to Parliament over Delayed Shs2bn Presidential Pledge

Former Park-yard market vendors have petitioned Parliament through the Presidential Affairs Committee over the delayed presidential pledge of Shs2bn.

President Yoweri Museveni pledged the money in 2011 and 2013 to traders after they lost their merchandise in fire.

The money was to be help them set up new stalls and boost their businesses.

Fire burnt down the market in 2009, 2011 and 2013. The president gave Shs1bn to the vendors and promised Shs2bn after the 2nd and 3rd fire outbreak.

New Agenda Traders’ Development Association (Park yard) led by the Chairperson, Kassim Ssebadduka and the Secretary General, Muhammed Musisi appeared before the committee asking the Mps ot remind the President of the pledge.

During the meeting, the traders accused parliament of betraying them in the fight to retain the market before the eviction.

Presidential Affairs committee chairperson, Jessica Ababiku
Presidential Affairs committee chairperson, Jessica Ababiku

Vendors in Park yard Market were evicted early this year despite several interventions by several stakeholders including parliament.

The land was given to Ham Enterprises who have since commenced construction and development of Nakivubo Stadium.

“Members we believe you betrayed us, we can only mend ties when you help us in pursuing the Shs2bn promised by His Excellency in 2011 and 2013 after the 2nd and 3rd fire to help us boost our business,” Musisi said.

Musisi recounted that they petitioned the Speaker for her intervention on February 22, 2017 with a view that the market wouldn’t be given away, only for them to be evicted on February 27, 2017.

He said after being evicted with no help from Parliament, they resorted to complying with the resettlement plan by the Nakivubo War Memorial stadium board of trustees.

“We had to concede and relocate peacefully; we are now moving on with business; our major problem is not eviction, relocation or the procedure but rather capital for all of us. We ask that you help us recover the presidential pledge of Shs2bn,” said Kassim Ssebadduka.

Committee Chairperson, Jessica Ababiku promised to handle the petition as a whole, and wondered why the same group that petitioned the Speaker over relocation and eviction is now only focusing on recovery of the presidential pledge.

“We shall handle the petition and give chance to all stakeholders to appear before the committee; we shall not limit it to the vendors’ request of the presidential pledge,” Ababiku said.

The committee will meet Ham Enterprise next week and visit other vendors in the market, before reporting back to the House in 90 days.

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