MPs Visit City Abattoir Over Wrangles

The Parliamentary committee on Presidential affairs on Tuesday visited the city abattoir in a fact-finding mission about the wrangles therein.

The ownership wrangles in the market started in 2011 when KCCA issued a 49 year lease to city businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba, about it a decision that traders did not agree with.

On Tuesday, order the parliamentary committee visited the abattoir and traders relayed to them reasons behind the wrangles that have lasted 5 years.

“This was a peaceful place for many years until Basajjabalaba came to destabilize us. Many of us have worked here for the last 30 years without any wrangles, patient ” said one David Kizito.

The trader who boasted of having worked in the abattoir since 1985 accused KCCA of disrespecting a presidential directive in regards to markets.

According to the traders, President Museveni directed that priority should be given to sitting tenants for markets and other places like abattoirs in case of development of the area; which they say KCCA never followed while awarding the lease to Basajjabalaba.

“There was no way we could give taxes to government (KCCA) when they have failed to assess how much we are to pay,” said the traders’ chairman Abbey Mugumba.

Officials from KCCA recently told the committee that they have not received taxes from the place managed by the City Abattoir Traders’ Development Association since 2011.


The traders however on Tuesday told the same committee that they will have to wait for KCCA to cancel the lease given to Basajjabalaba before paying taxes to government.

“We collect shs15000 from each head of cow that enters here but we use that money for paying bills like water and electricity,” said Hamza Mulo, another trader in the abattoir.

The traders told the committee that it would be unfair for them to remit taxes to government when the wrangles over ownership of the market have not yet been solved.

In response, the committee vice chairperson and Amuria district woman MP Suzan Amero said that the traders’ complaints would be put into a report that is set to be tabled before parliament for debate.

“I don’t want to assure you that we shall endorse your ownership of this place but your issues will be put in a report for government to implement,” Amero said.

Kassanda South legislator and also member on the committee, Simeo Nsubuga blamed officials from KCCA whom he said made mistakes of violating the presidential directive.

“In all cases where mistakes are made, it is the tax payers who suffer the burden. We ought to put in place laws that would ensure such is not repeated,” Nsubuga said.

“The directive was clear that sitting tenants should be considered first but if some government official ignored it, then it is absurd.”

Established in 1935, the City Abattoir is the source of beef for most of Kampala and the nearby places but it has been rocked with ownership and management wrangles following a decision by KCCA to issue it to Basajabalaba in 2011.

City Abattoir Traders’ Development Association(CATDA), an umbrella body for traders and butchers operating in the market  has since refused to hand over ownership to Basajjabalaba. They also refused to pay taxes to KCCA.

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