Fort Portal Mayor Under Fire Over Taxi Park Agreement

The regional body, pharm Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member Heads of State are expected to reign in on the heads of South Sudan warring parties that have engaged in a bloody internal conflict for over a year now.

The Heads of State summit is going to convene in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on the 18th of this month to face one of their own, see President Salva Kiir who is also the Commander-in-Chief SPLA and his former deputy turned rival Dr. Riek Machar, cost the leader rebel movement also known as SPLA- In Opposition.

The summit was supposed to sit in late 2014 when the Peace Talks delegation from both sides sharply disagreed on two critical areas of power sharing and security only to be pushed forward due to lack of time.

Kiir and Machar had already been called to Addis Ababa before Christmas but the decision was reconsidered and on January 18, the duo shall be at the Presidential Palace where the summit shall sit.

Last year, IGAD said the two parties should resolve their conflicts especially on power sharing lest the matter is referred to the African Union and Security Council that could see both Machar and Kiir face serious sanctions including travel bans and the freezing of their assets.

The new development was confirmed by the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs minister, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Juba on Wednesday after meeting president Kiir at his office who also accepted avail himself in Addis Ababa.

Dr. Adhanom, according to sources, delivered to Kiir IGAD`s strong position on the much delayed signing of final Peace Talks which conflicting parties have been derailing.

The strong message had already been given to Dr. Machar who currently resides in Addis Ababa with his group`s top officials.


“I had a fruitful meeting with His Excellency on basically two things. The upcoming Heads of State summit on 18th January and the progress so far made in the Peace Talks,” said Dr. Adhanom in Juba.

Just like the war, the Peace Talks which also started in December 2013 have as well entered the second year with many signed agreements broken mainly on the Cessation of Hostilities.

The first break through in the dialogue was only registered when Heads of State convened on May 2014 which marked historic face to face meeting between Kiir and Machar.

The upcoming summit will be the seventh one to be held on South Sudan since December 2013.

The rebellion against the government of President Kiir entered a decisive stage in December 2014 with the insurgents’ leadership setting fresh demands including the head of state stepping down from office to face a war crimes tribunal.

The power sharing has always been a contentious and emotive issue during the peace talks in Ethiopia, with Machar insisting on taking over as the Executive Prime Minister. He wants the position of Vice President scrapped, a move rejected by Juba.

At Pagak, rebels said they want 70 percent of government positions and that the sitting government in Juba should retain only 20 percent and other stakeholders 10 percent.

Machar’s rebels resolved that the powers of the president and prime minister and the joint powers shall be as presented on November 7 at the IGAD meeting in Ethiopia. The rebels rejected the designated presidential powers to Kiir, saying the Prime Minister shall chair council of ministers constituted as per the peace agreement power sharing ratios.

War crimes

The rebels also observed that President Salva Kiir “is directly responsible for the Juba genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during this current war. Therefore he has lost legitimacy and does not deserve to lead the transitional period.”

Kiir maintains Machar wanted to overthrow his government after the latter was sacked as a Vice President.

In his address to the UN General Assembly’s annual debate this year, President Kiir said Member States had no doubt watched in shock and disbelief as fighting erupted last December, “which was plotted by my former Vice-President [Riek Machar] who wanted to seize power by force”.

“He was too impatient in his thirst for power and did not want to wait for the general elections, which were scheduled to take place in 2015…” said Kiir, adding, “the failed coup and the rebellion that followed resulted in the loss of too many innocent lives, destruction of properties, and damage of community relationships.”

However, said the President, the coup was foiled, and the Government is continuing to defend the country and the people against the ensuing rebellion.

Two armies

The rebels further demanded that the “current existing legislative and executive organs (national, state and country) shall be dissolved and reconstituted in accordance with the peace agreement and the power sharing ratios.”

As if this is not enough, the rebels further demanded “two separate armies until when elections are conducted and will both enjoy the same benefits, privileges and services from the day the permanent ceasefire is signed.”

Observers say Machar’s demands are not realistic, hampering efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in which thousands have perished.
Chaos ensued in Fort Portal Municipal Council when Mayor Edison Asaba Ruyonga moved a motion to evict over 500 tenants operating in Nyakaseke New Taxi Park in Kisenyi and transfer them to Katale – Kenjara near Fuelex fueling station.

This, physician the Mayor  said followed a letter from the land lord, generic Tooro Kingdom dated January 1st expressing intentions to increase rent for the expanse from shs 1.7m to shs 10m per month which the mayor said could not be afforded by the municipality.

The letter signed by Tooro Kingdom Premier, Steven Kaliba and seen by ChimpReports points out that the agreement that the kingdom had signed with the Municipality expired on December 31st 2014 and that therefore needed to be reviewed before it could be renewed.

The Mayor’s motion tabled during the council sitting held at Musisa Hall, Boma in Fort Portal on Thursday sparked rage among the councilors who held that the population of traders at the taxi park had grown more than fivefold from the time of signing of the contract and that the amount could be afforded by the Municipality from the revenue collected from the vendors.

Councillors including, Eunice Habwomugisha accused the mayor of politically blackmailing the Kingdom when it was on record that monthly revenues accruing from the taxi park collections had increased from shs 2 million to sh 17 million.

The meeting ended prematurely as most of the councilors insisted that it was not fair to evict the vendors making them to lose their businesses when in actual sense the Municipality can go into talks with the kingdom and negotiate terms and conditions to have the agreement renewed.

Back to top button
Translate »

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker