NEWS

Meat traders at city abattoir fight over daily dues

City businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba. File photo.



KAMPALA–Barely a week after Parliament released a report on the status of the city abattoir, located along Old port Bell Road, a sharp disagreement has erupted among the meat traders over daily collected dues.

The two groups accuse the management of the abattoir of collecting dues from meat traders and other vendors operating at the premises without showing accountability.

PML Daily has learnt that the rival groups which broke away from the management today met at Grages Hotel, Kalerwe, city suburb.

Currently, the abattoir is managed by a small group of meat traders headed by Abbey Mugumba.

The rival traders want Kampala minister Beti Kamya to intervene, adding that the small group of meat traders is enriching itself.

“The top management has enriched itself, at least, Basajjabalaba should re-own his property,” Enock Kisenyi, one of the meat traders said.

It is not yet clear how much money is collected daily from the abattoir but the former Resident City Commissioner Mpimbaza Hashaka probed in 2013 and found out that they were collecting Shs8m every week.

According to Mpimbaza, part of the money collected is given to the some security agents and local politicians to help the meat traders continue operating at the abattoir.

An interim court order was issued in 2011, ordering the leaders of meat traders to stop managing the abattoir but they refused to respect it.

When contacted about the dwell, Robert Mutesasira, one of the managers, said every leadership has rivals.

“These are old rivals. We shall contain them,” he added.

A new Parliamentary report confirms that city businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba got a lease from Kampala City Council for 49 years to run the abattoir.

In 2011, meat traders demonstrated over mistreatment by Basajjabalaba administration and with the help of some city politicians, they took over the premises.

Basajjabalaba was forced to drag the meat traders and Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago for trespassing on his property. A court order was issued ordering them to vacate but the meat traders never respected it.

Basajjabalaba had no option but to run to Parliament, to force Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Police to forcefully evict the meat traders. KCCA leased the property.

The matter was forwarded to the Parliamentary Presidential Affairs Committee, which among other things handle city affairs.

Basajjabalaba demanded Shs850m from government as compensation for the loss he incurred during the time meat traders have been managing his property.

Kabaka to visit Abattoir
The sharp disagreement over daily due comes at a time when Kabaka Ronald Mutebi is planning to visit the meat traders.

At the time Basajjabalaba was claiming ownership of the property, Mengo government came out to also claim the ownership.

Meat traders pushing for compensation
Meat traders have been praying that Basajjabalaba be paid so that he leaves them to operate freely.

They lobbied MPs sitting on the committee to push for compensation. But the views which came from Parliament yesterday may change things.

If Parliament blocks Basajjabalaba’s payment, this means he will have to re-own his property, since he still has a running contract with KCCA.

“And we shall put pressure on the Police and KCCA to evict them,” an aide, who preferred not to be mentioned revealed.

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