Gulu City authorities order for fresh allocation of lockup shops at Gulu main market

GULU – Gulu City authorities have ordered for fresh allocation of lockup shops, stalls and pitches at Gulu Main Market to vendors to restore sanity in the market.

The Council resolution was based on the report by an Adoc committee that was instituted to investigate the challenges in the market related to ownership, taxation and revenue collection in the market.

The committee which is composed of 5 members and chaired by the Woman Councillor IV for Agwee/Queens Parish Gifter Aber for Laroo-Pece division was established in November,2021.

The investigation that was concluded by the end of December, 2021 uncovered several irregularities leading to the resolution to reallocate the lockup shops, stalls and pitches.

The reports indicate that of 515 lockups shops, 97% of them were rented out to vendors between Shs 150,000 to Shs 600,000 depending on their positions.

Technocrats, political leaders and clerics whose identities were withheld from the report were implicated in fraudulent acquisition of the shops from the then Gulu Municipal Developers Association.

In 2015, a group of 85 developers signed the tenancy agreement with the council for a joint ownership of the market but the committee found out that their number has exceeded 240 members.

The tenancy agreement gave the developers 6 years of ownership of the shops which has expired and Council also resolved to terminate their contract with the developers in order to take full control and ownership of the market.

Meanwhile, some of the individuals implicated in the scandals were found in possession of between 5 to 10 lockup shops arising from fraudulent acquisition which they sublet to vendors.

The Gulu City Mayor, Alfred Okwonga told theCooperator in a recent interview that the Council resolved to carry out fresh re-allocation of the lockup shops, and stalls in the next two weeks.

Whereas the Council moves towards reallocation, the report by the adoc committee also exposed a variation of the revenue collected which caused financial losses to the Council in the last two years.

With a projection of more than billions of shillings in annual revenue from the market, the Council only realized Shs106.8 million in 2021 creating a shortfall of the revenue collected in the year.

The revenue performance in the market has increased according to the quarterly performance reports, as Council collected Shs426 million from the market between July and September 2021 with the introduction of the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS).

The Chairman Gulu main market vendors association, Patrick Omaya is hopeful that the market will realize more than a billion shillings from revenue collection with the new finance system which he says, will eliminate corruption in the City and improve on public accountability.

He also revealed that the re-allocation of lock-up shops, stalls and pitches in the market will kick off with fresh registration of the vendors in the next two weeks for verification.

“There was manipulation at the time of allocation that smuggled in more people, most of whom were technocrats,” Omaya told theCooperator in an interview.

The tenancy agreement gave the developers 6 years of ownership of the shops but most of them according to the market authorities have rented out their shops to the vendors.

The Principal Auditor, Gulu City Council however noted that the clause in the tenancy agreement does not give power to the developers to transfer their interest which he says has not been followed.

“The party agreed not to transfer his or interest to a third party without the approval of the Council, the transfer can only be granted whenever there is any eventuality or demise but this is contrary to what we see in the market,” Oyoo said.

Gulu Main Market was constructed at the cost of Shs 29 billion under the Market Agricultural Trade Improvement Project (MATIP) and commissioned by President Museveni in 2016 with the expected capacity to accommodate over 4,000 vendors.

Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country- wide vending points or an e-copy on

The post Gulu City authorities order for fresh allocation of lockup shops at Gulu main market appeared first on The Cooperator News.

Ministry of works in consultation with taxi drivers and drivers over proposed constitution

HOIMA – Ministry of Works and Transport has promised to address the challenges affecting the taxi drivers and owners in the country through the proposed taxi operator’s constitution.

This was revealed by Ministry officials during a regional validation meeting for the draft constitution of the taxi industry.

Recently, Ministry of Works and Transport drafted a constitution on the instructions of the president, to govern the National Association of Taxi Operators.

The meeting held in Hoima City attracted municipal and city leaders, leaders of taxi drivers and owners from the districts of Hoima city, Kagadi, Kibaale, Buliisa and Masindi.

Robert Kisakye, the Senior Licensing Officer at Ministry of works said that a plan to have the constitution for the National Taxi Operators’ Association was reached during a meeting that was held between the taxi operators and President Museveni.

He explained that the national constitution will help the taxi operators to vote for their national leadership.

Kisakye explained that multiple fees paid on the road, harassment in the taxi industry, people leading the industry who are not taxi operators, failure to get support from the government in terms of financial subsidy and mismanagement of funds are some of the challenges which were identified by taxi operators during their meeting.

“The association is mainly going to address the challenges that taxi operators face in the industry. The idea of a constitution came from a meeting between taxi operators and the President. The taxi operators felt the need for accountable leaders and the desire to participate in decision making process in the industry,” said Kisakye.

He added that different officials are traversing the country collecting views of the taxi drivers and owners which they will incorporate into the constitution before passing it into their policy.

There was overwhelming endorsement from Bunyoro as the taxi operators agreed to form an association and offered ideas on how they want the association to look like.

The Ministry will now incorporate these views from the regional meetings and come up with a final constitution that will regulate the association.

Musoke Matia, a businessman and owner of taxis in Kagadi district welcomed the initiative adding that it was long overdue to have the association and laws governing taxi operators.

He noted that this business has been facing several challenges including indisciplined drivers, lack of transparency and over taxation adding that once the draft constitution is passed into law, it will solve many problems.

He further noted that this constitution is going to streamline the taxi industry and restore sanity among the operators.

Karungi Mustafa, the Chairman of Masindi District Taxi Driver’s Association and Hamfrey Mugisa the Chairperson of Hoima Taxi and Bus Park commended the president for the initiative adding that the constitution of the taxi operators’ associations will eliminate masqueraders from the taxi business and give them an opportunity to advocate for their rights.

They said that taxi operators have not been benefiting from the industry as they expected due to lack of a national body to organise them.

They also demanded for regional balance during the elections of the national leaders of the taxi operators’ association.

Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country- wide vending points or an e-copy on

The post Ministry of works in consultation with taxi drivers and drivers over proposed constitution appeared first on The Cooperator News.

Clerics rally teachers to return to their profession and save the nation

ACHOLI – Religious leaders in Acholi sub-region under their umbrella group – Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) have called on teachers who abandoned their teaching profession for other income generating activities during the COVID-19 pandemic to return and save the nation.

For about two years, teachers in Uganda were rendered jobless after schools were closed by the government to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking in an interview with our reporter, Bishop James Ochan, of the National Fellowship of Born-again and Pentecostal churches for Acholi sub-region said, the mere fact that teachers were not practicing their profession resulted into thousands of teenage pregnancies, child marriages, drug abuse, lack of respect for the societies among others.

Ochan further said, teachers play a huge role in shaping the moral direction of the country and with schools re-opening next week, they should return to bring order and sanity and save the future of the nation.

“What we have experienced in the last two years that our children have been home clearly shows that parents don’t do much as far as shaping the future of our children. We need teachers if our country is to be in order and develop. So, please teachers, return to your classes and save the nation,” said Bishop Ochan.

In Gulu City, more than 100 redundant teachers, joined the boda-boda cycling business in order to fend for their families.

According to Amuru education authorities, more than 130 teachers joined boda-boda business while others, especially along the South Sudan border joined the cross-border business.

Derrick Otim, a teacher in Amuru district who declined to mention the school he is attached to says, he is still contemplating whether to return to class given the little pay. Otim says, as a boda-boda cyclist, he earns at least Shs 25,000 from which he can daily save and cater for his family.

“I have been earning at least Shs25,000 daily from my boda-boda business yet I earn a monthly salary of Shs 400,000. If I chose to go back to class, it would take me time to re-adjust since I joined the boda-boda business. I will still have to think about it though,” Otim said.

Otim further said, incase he returns to class, he might consider teaching as a part time job since he needs money to sustain his family.

Steven Ojara, another teacher in Gulu City who opened a retail shop in Bar dege Layibi City division says, he will return to class but also keep his side business to supplement his earnings.

Rt Rev Godfrey Loum, the Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda said, the government should use the lessons learnt to consider listening to the pending demands of teachers on salary increments.

For years, the teachers body, Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) has been pleading with the government for increment of teachers’ salaries. Currently, the government’s focus is to improve salaries of science teachers.

Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the State Minister for Primary Education recently warned teachers who will not report to school in two weeks of school reopening that they will be replaced since they are no longer interested in their profession.

Recently, the government in partnership with Give Directly announced a Shs 23 billion support to private teachers who have been greatly affected by the lockdown.

Buy your copy of theCooperator magazine from one of our countrywide vending points or an e-copy on

The post Clerics rally teachers to return to their profession and save the nation appeared first on The Cooperator News.

Hoima drivers elect new leaders to manage the park

HOIMA – Drivers, conductors and guides operating in Hoima Taxi and Bus Park in Hoima East division, Hoima City have elected new leaders to manage their affairs in the park after two years of waiting.

Hamfrey Mugisa was elected as the Chairman outcompeting two other contenders in the race.

According to the election results declared by Solomon Kahuma, the Senior Assistant Town Clerk for Hoima East division; who was also the Returning Officer of the elections, Mugisa pulled 190 votes beating his rivals Rashid Tusiime and Kenneth Kwegondeza who got 92 votes and 24 votes respectively.

Julius Mbabazi was elected as Vice Chairperson after garnering 169 votes while his rival Charles Asiimwe Nyakatura got 140 votes. Frank Gugwa was elected as General Secretary after beating Paul Mutegeki with 183 votes to 126 votes.

Meanwhile Charles Irumba and Ivan Mwesige were lucky after they emerged unopposed for the position of Treasurer and Mobilizer respectively.

Kahuma, the Returning Officer explained that the exercise was free, fair and peaceful adding that 646 drivers, conductors and guides were registered for the election. Those who did not register were not allowed to vote.

The elections that were conducted at Hoima Kolping Hotel were by secret ballot.

He explained that the term of the old management of the park expired in 2019 and the drivers were supposed to vote in 2020 but the election was interrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown. He added that the new leadership will serve for three years.

Sources at the park revealed that James Byaruhanga who has been the park Chairperson for the last six years, did not participate in the election because he was recently charged with assault and other election violence by the Hoima Grade one Magistrate.

While addressing the drivers after the election, the Hoima City Resident City Commissioner, Samuel Kisembo Ayesiga commended the drivers for electing their leaders and called on the new leaders to mobilize all the automobile operators in the park to get organized and form a Saving and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) to push for their development.

He revealed that the former park management had failed to manage the park affairs adding that with the new regime, they expect better service delivery in the park. He noted that drivers in the area have missed on several government programs due to lack of unity and poor management.

Speaking after the election, Mugisa commended the drivers and others for their trust and promised to work with all people operating in the park to ensure security, discipline and better sanitation at the park.

He explained that the issue of indiscipline, insecurity and poor sanitation in the park is still a big challenge which needs to be addressed.

He also promised to work with the city leaders to get a way of addressing the challenge of drivers parking their taxis outside the park which sometimes causes congestion in the town.

“We are going to have regulations guiding all the operations in our park so as to restore sanity in the area,” he said.

Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country- wide vending points or an e-copy on

The post Hoima drivers elect new leaders to manage the park appeared first on The Cooperator News.