Nakasero market vendors have lost a case to Kampala Capital City Authority where they sought KCCA to be thrown out of the market management.
The application was posted shortly after KCCA had in November 2020 taken over Nakasero market on President Museveni’s orders as he had instructed the city authority to take over markets and abattoirs being mishandled by private groups.
However, the Civil Division of the High Court, Kampala, dismissed the application, therefore, letting Kampala Capital City Authority maintain her position as part of the market management.
In the application, vendors through their umbrella body Nakasero Market Sitting Vendors and Traders Limited appealed to court to revise the decision by KCCA to take over the market with an aim of reinstating the vendors into market management.
Additionally, the vendors also applied for the court to restrain KCCA and or its agents from interfering in matters relating to the management of the market.
In their application, the vendors stated that they had in December 2009 secured a sub-lease for Plot 4B and 7B market street, Nakasero Market from KCCA for which a payment of premium of UGX 1.8 billion and ground rent of UGX 45 million was made.
Furthermore, the vendors informed that they had made an administrative arrangement with KCCA hence agreeing that it would collect revenue from the market on behalf of the authority.
KCCA argues that based on the Markets Act Cap 94, it has the mandate to establish and maintain markets within Kampala and for a private limited company to run a city market, it goes against the said Act.
Also back in April 2010, President Museveni issued a directive that stated that land for common user facilities with the city can be managed by and leased to vendors operating on it.
Despite this, KCCA stated that the cabinet had decided to revise this policy, and back in November 2019, the cabinet resolved that KCCA must compensate Nakasero Market Spring vendors which KCCA declined to do claiming the market belongs to the government.
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While ruling,, Justice Musa Ssekaana dismissed the case stating that it was an improper case for judicial review especially in relation to the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. He ruled that the transactions between the vendors and KCCA were contractual and based upon private law rights.
“Contractual obligations should not be enforced by judicial review unless the question is whether the contracting authority has exceeded its powers. Judicial review should be a remedy of last resort and it is inappropriate where there is another field of law governing the situation.”
Upon the dismissal of the case, no costs were charged and neither was a decision made in regard to the UGX 1.845 billion which the vendors alleged to have paid to Kampala Capital City Authority.