By Spy Uganda
Gulu City officials are under investigation for mismanaging the operations and revenue collection of Gulu Main Market whose construction was completed in 2015 under the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme Project (MATIP).
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (Local Government) sitting on Tuesday, 14 December 2021 at Parliament House noted with displeasure how the Gulu City officials, including politicians, flouted operational guidelines from the Ministry of Local Government and fraudulently allocated themselves lockups in the Gulu Main Market at the expense of the rightful vendors.
This, according to the committee, has resulted in poor revenue collection and management by the city council. According to the Gulu City performance report, Gulu Main Market planned to collect Shs4,375,954,000 from Financial Year 2015/16 to 2020/2021, but only Shs 2,395,818,234 was collected.
While meeting Gulu City officials, the committee headed by Hon Martin Ojara Mapenduzi (Indep. Bardege-Layibi Division) handed over the Acting Gulu City Clerk, Moses Otimong, to the Police to provide relevant information to aid in the investigations.
The committee also called for an investigation of Gilbert Oloya, the Assistant Town Clerk, Laroo-Pece Division for allegedly allocating himself and his relatives more than six lockups.
“Some of the city officials here present also gave themselves lockups with impunity. This is a matter I am referring to the Police to investigate,” Ojara Mapenduzi said, noting that this same vice has been cited in most of the government central markets in the country.
Oloya confirmed that indeed his wife, whom he said is a vendor, has a lockup, while one of his relatives and a friend also have lockups in the same market.
The Market Master, Andrew Ojore, exposed some of the city staff and politicians who reportedly own lockups in the main market. Among them include; Lucy Ajok, Enforcement Officer who owns Lockup-BL038 and one Ogaba who owns Lockup-BL018.
Hon Emmanuel Ongiertho (FDC, Jonam County) called for the cancellation of all the original allocations of lockups in the market to allow the rightful vendors to occupy the spaces.
The committee has given Police investigators two weeks to probe the matter.