Police in Soroti City have arrested six people involved in the alleged mismanagement of the Soroti Central Market.
Those arrested include the principal community development officer (PCDO) Damali Asekenye, the acting town clerk Soroti city west Badru Ochengel and the commercial development officer George William Tukei.
The others are Richard Opiding (chairperson allocation committee) George William Eriebet (chairperson Soroti City vendors) and Benjamin Ochoro, a member in the clearing committee.
Their arrest was on Friday at the Soroti City Mayor’s Garden on the orders of the local government minister Raphael Magezi, during a public meeting to address the grievances regarding the allocation of lock up spaces, pitches and stalls.
The meeting was in response to a petition submitted by a section of the vendors to the office of the parliament speaker Anita Among, through the Soroti City woman MP Joan Alobo Achom.
Petitioner George Akojo said the detained, through corrupt tendencies, deprived vendors of the opportunity to trade in the market. This prompted the minister to order their arrest.
Akojo also accused the city officials of “smuggling in the names of their relatives.”
“Most vendors who were present at the time of the demolition of the old market were pushed out to the streets and their attempts to get back to the market have been futile,” Akojo observed.
Harriet Mteitiei, a vendor in the market called for the minister’s intervention in regulating the order of trade in the market by rearranging her colleagues in accordance with their sections.
“The allocation committee scattered the vendors by allocating them spaces irregularly, causing a mix up of businesses. It’s not easy to operate. These people have mingled us up and they are not even thinking of the trade order,” Mteitei noted.
She also decried what she described as “heavy monthly rental rates” in the market’s lockups.
“We thought the market was for us but we wonder why the city starts charging us the money for accessing the toilet facilities,” Mteitei added.
The Soroti city market which was commissioned in November 2020 is made up of 364 lockup spaces and 84 poultry cages among other such units.
Richard Opiding , chairperson allocation committee said they managed to allocate 278 lockup spaces in the market to the vendors and the balance was closed pending discussions with the management team.
Source: Daily Monitor