Uganda Peoples Congress

Uganda Peoples Congress
National Secretariat
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala


Press Release

(Embargoed for release at 11.00 am, 1st August 2007 )

  1. The Uganda Peoples Congress in its press statement of 11th July2007 decried the lack of policy governing markets and noted with great concern the saga which had engulfed the Nakasero market resulting in the issuance of a Presidential directive to halt the sale and the eventual give a way of the market to the vendors by the President in total violation of rules and laws on procurement and disposal of public assets.
  2. It is with great sadness that the precedence set in the handling of Nakasero market is being applied in Nateete market by President Museveni. The strange aspects of these events surrounding the markets in Kampala are that all of them revolve around businessman Hassan Bassajjabalaba and President Museveni who strange enough are close acquaintances owing to the fact that the President, from time to time bails out Basajjabalaba with money from national coffers. UPC is wondering whether these events are pre planned to achieve some intended purposes.
  3. The Uganda Peoples Congress believes President Museveni and his NRM party are pursuing a hidden policy of not only controlling the vendors and wooing them to NRM but capturing the urban areas. President Museveni and his movement party in the last two Presidential elections performed badly in urban areas despite rigging the polls. The NRM strategist went back to the drawing board and comprehensively designed the events unfolding in Kampala markets today. They knew that through creating despondency among the vendors population through their businessman, President Museveni would then come as a savior, capturing Kampala low income urban dwellers would be very successful.
  4. The Uganda Peoples Congress developed all these markets that the NRM leaders are now scrambling for and exploiting it for political gains. Under the first World Bank urban Project that targeted urban markets' rehabilitation, drainage and maintenance. Most of the urban markets benefited greatly from this program and there have been subsequent World Bank urban projects following this UPC initiative. The traders and vendors manning the stalls in those markets were never disturbed by the UPC administration. The best example is the father of the present Kampala Mayor who even managed to pass the stalls to his sons the Ssebaggalas.
  5. Why the conflict in these markets now? Why is it that the President of Uganda has featured very prominently in the resolution of these conflicts yet they are created by his own cadres? Is it accidental or it confirms the UPC position that these events are preplanned and are aimed at achieving the long-term NRM mobilization programme for the 2011 general elections. The vendors must not accept to be used as a scape goat for NRM politics of patronage and dependency.
  6. This NRM policy of creating despondency in the population has successfully worked in its favor in the rural areas of Uganda where the majority population have been intentionally impoverished by the NRM government and easily bribed, subdued and intimidated during the general elections so that they can vote NRM.
  7. The Uganda Peoples Congress calls upon the vendors and the people of Uganda to be very vigilant of the NRM strategies and President Museveni deceptive ways of solving problems. The politics of market wrangles should be an eye opener to the citizens of this country that the present leadership is not willing to pursue genuine policies of developing institutions and proper governance of our motherland.
  8. The UPC further urges the people of Uganda to reject this politics of patronage and embrace the politics of principles which is genuine that aims at the transformation of the livelihood of our people.

For God and my Country

Hon. John Livinstone Okello Okello

Vice President, Uganda Peoples Congress