KCCA denies involvement in Park Yard mess
The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has denied any involvement in the demolition of Park Yard market on Monday morning, saying that they were not informed of the exercise.
In an interview with Daily Monitor at city hall, the KCCA deputy spokesperson, Mr Robert Kalumba, said they were surprised to see the market demolished yet the Minister for Kampala Affairs, Ms Beti Olive Kamya had given vendors a deadline of 30 days.
“As an authority, we strongly distance ourselves from the Park Yard wrangles because we were not notified. What we knew of was the deadline, which was supposed to end on 20 March 2017. We shall present our report regarding this same market tomorrow (today) to the council meeting.” Mr Kalumba said.
The market, which was demolished by city tycoon, Mr Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises (U) Ltd, has since left thousands of vendors displaced, with majority uncertain of the next step.
Although the minister asked vendors to go and operate from Wandegeya and Usafi markets, the spaces there can’t accommodate all the vendors.
Mr Kalumba noted that the eviction caught them unaware and that they are grappling with how to relocate the stranded vendors to the city markets.
“Although there are some empty spaces in our city markets, all the vendors won’t be covered. We are now working hard to see how they could be helped. However, the public must know that it’s not KCCA which demolished the market,” he said.
The demolition of Park Yard market that comprised of over 10,000 vendors has raised brows among the politicians and the public, who are questioning the manner in which the eviction of the vendors was rushed.
On 20 February this year, Ms Kamya wrote to the management of Park Yard market, asking them to vacate the place within 30 days to pave way for the redevelopment of the area by Mr Kiggundu.
However, a crisis meeting was convened by the minister on Sunday last week in her office with Mr Kiggundu, the management of Park Yard market, the security personnel and the Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Board of Trustees, to ascertain how the eviction could be carried out.
Kampala Ministry’s under Secretary, Mr Samuel Baker Emiku, confirmed to Daily Monitor that the meeting sat, but defended Ms Kamya, arguing that Mr Kiggundu and the vendors agreed mutually to have the market demolished.
“It’s not the minister who ordered for the demolition of the market on Monday because she even maintained her stand on having it demolished after 30 days.