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Ministers Odongo, Elly Tumwiine To Meet City Traders

Security Minister Gen Elly Tumwiine and his Internal Affairs counterpart Jeje Odongo are slated to meet with traders working at the Nabukeera and Qualicel arcades in the city centre to among others guarantee their security.

The traders say they are facing life threats from the owners of the two buildings.

According to Kampala Central MP Hon Muhammad Nsereko, who has met and talked to the traders, the arcade landlords have hired what he called, goons and private security personnel to threaten, brutalize and abuse the traders.

The traders since last week have been protesting what they call double payment of rent.

Hon Nsereko, who on Monday re-tabled this matter on the floor of parliament, told members that the traders as recently at yesterday Monday, had received a demand notice from Horizon Company of the late Charles Muhangi, asking them to pay rent, yet they had already to paid it to the current landlord, Mansoor Matuvu Yanga.

“This demand later here came in on March 25th from Charles Muhangi’s Horizon,” the MP told Parliament.

“The letter demands that the traders pay rent for this month, yet like I told you last time, when the current management which succeeded Muhangi came in, they forced the traders to pay 5 months’ rent retrospectively, for the time they were not in charge.”

The MP says both landlords have been hiring groups who come in and “beat up the tenants and molest the women, to force them to pay rent.”

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“These people are armed with sticks, some have knives while others have guns,” he added.

According to the MP, a businessperson on both buildings pays between Shs 5 to 10million a month in rent.

“If you tell this person to pay 5months which he has already paid to another person, that’s 50million shillings. These people run on credit, they pay taxes. They are left with no choice but to close shop.”

Responding to the MP’s concerns, Junior Finance Minister David Bahati on behalf of the Prime Minister, said the Ministers of Internal Affairs and Security had been alerted and were slated to meet the traders.

Hon Nsereko said the traders, some of who were in the parliament gallery, needed the ministers to order the withdraw of the landlords’ private security and the gangs, and to deploy the Uganda police as the guarantor of security of their security.

Minister Bahati reaffirmed that the security of the traders would be guaranteed by government.

“The traders need to be assured that nothing will happen to them. The government and all its agencies are there to protect them,” he said.

The Attorney General Mr William Byaruhanga was expected to deliver a statement on the floor today, but minister Bahati said he wasn’t feeling well, while his Deputy Mwesigwa Rukutana was out of the country.

The Attorney General asked to deliver his statement on Thursday.

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