A row is brewing among meat traders at City Abattoir on Old Port Bell Road in Kampala, over accountability.
The abattoir was formerly managed by the city businessman Hassan Basajjabala, who secured 49 year leased from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
However, the meat traders under their association City Abattoir Traders Development Association (CATDA), in 2011 forcely evicted the managers that Basajjabala had hired to run the premises.
They accused the management of harassing them and hiking the dues.
Eight years later, a faction of CATDA claim their leaders have failed to show accountability.
The group led by Ali Kizito told PML Daily that they thought by evicting Basabajjabala’s management, things were going to be better. “The situation is worse than during the days when Basajjabala was managing the abattoir,” Mr Kizito told PML Daily on Thursday.
“These guys have enriched themselves at the expense of ordinary traders. You can’t imagine, every day, they collect Sh15,000, from every animal slaughtered here. They collect Shs300,000 every month from those running kiosks and Shs50,000 from stalls but where does the money go? When we asked them, the leadership told us they injected money in security. This is not true. We conducted our investigations and discovered that the few leaders are building and buying properties from the money collected,” Kizito added.
Kizito also said he wrote to Kampala minister Beti Kamya and the city executive director Jennifer Musisi to probe CATDA.
Last year, MPs on the Presidential Affairs Committee which oversees KCCA, asked Musisi why the authority was not collecting taxes from the city abattoir.
Musisi said KCCA in its records recognize Basajjabala as the one with the manadate to run the abattoir and not the meat traders.
In 2011, Basajjabala sued the meat traders and the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago for trespassing on his property.
The Commercial Court issued an order, for the meat traders to vacate, which the police never implemented.
To solve the wrangles, the Presidential Affairs committee decided to probe the matter. All the parties involved were invited. Lukwago and the late Deputy IGP Felix Kaweesi were summoned to answer allegations that they were collecting money from the abattoir.
In 2013, the former Resident City Commissioner Mpimbaza Hasahaka wrote a report on the city abattoir, which he copied to the President, alleging that Lukwago and Kaweesi were the beneficiaries of the fraud.
Basajjabala accused the late Kaweesi and the former IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura of failing to implement the court order.
Faction plans forceful takeover
After learning that the faction group was planning to storm the CATDA offices, since last week the top leadership has been sleeping in office
When PML Daily visited the offices at 7:00am today, it found CATDA chairman Abbey Mugumba, Secretary Muhammed Nsubuga and others in the office.
“We got information that some goons are planning to attack us. They are busy mobilizing people to come at either 3 or 4am, storm our office, and remain here. While executing their attack, they have also hired the media to cover them,” Mugumba told PML Daily.
But Kizito said they will not take that path, insisting that KCCA should take over the property.
A report by MPs recommends that government should pay Basajjabala Shs85 billion for the loss he incurred after traders refused to vacate his abattoir.