Kabale Central Market conflict highlights the need for Open Contracting

Following a one year stalemate due to disputes between the owners of the kiosks and Kabale Municipal Council, the reconstruction of the Kabale Central Market began finally kicked off in December 2019.
Chongqing International Construction[CICCO], a Chinese firm, has been contracted to rebuild the market at UGX 23 billion. The contract was signed on October 1, 2019, by Ben Kamugisha, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government in Kampala.
Kamugisha refused to disclose to the other companies that competed for the work.
The market redevelopment is directly funded under the Market and Agriculture Trade Improvement Program (MATIP2) by the African Development Bank.

This contract award comes after protests had broken out when Joseph Bagonza, Kabale Town Clerk, issued a notice calling on all traders to vacate the market by May 1, 2019, to pave the way for the demolition of existing structures.
On August 22, 2019, the Kabale High Court, presided by Justice Moses Kawumi Kazibwe, issued an interim order barring the Kabale Municipal Council and its agents from relocating traders and demolishing the central market until February 2020, the date the appeal.
Notwithstanding court order, authorities led by Municipality Town Clerk Joseph Bagonza Monday and Mayor Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha demolished the market on August 24, 2019, moving traders to the former Kabale Police Barracks Playground and Mwanjari in the old Kabale Municipal Cemetery.

In a miscellaneous application number (NO.0075/2019 and №0024/2018), the traders accused Kabale Municipality of defying the extension of the High Court’s interim order, which prohibited them from carrying out market eviction and demolition until February 11, 2020.
In a ruling read on Thursday, December 5, High Court Judge Moses Kawumi Kazibwe ruled that the authorities disobeyed the lawful order of the court in favor of the Kabale Central Traders Association. Kazibwe also ruled that, following the complainant’s appeal, the authorities used intimidation by ordering law enforcement officers to forcefully remove iron sheets from the lock-up stores.
Justice Kazibwe ordered Kabale Municipality to pay the association a fine of UGX 150 million as general damages as well as other costs incurred in the application.

Public Procurement Problems in Uganda.

Public procurement is where power and money are. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that, in Uganda, as elsewhere in the world, public procurement frequently suffers from difficulties and delays, such as the situation in the Kabale region.

Challenges faced in Public Procurement

Challenges faced in Public Procurement


What is Open Contracting

Value of Open Contracting

The Open Contracting Data Standard

Open Contracting provides for the standardized disclosure of information on public procurement through the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS). The OCDS focuses on the potential of open data to serve as a fraud-fighting tool.

Demonstrating the successful use of Data in Uganda

The Government Procurement Portal

The Government Procurement Portal — GPP

The 2003 Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act 1 established the Public Procurement and Disposal Authority (PPDA) as the main regulatory body for public procurement and disposal in Uganda.

AFIC Open Data Dashboards

The Africa Freedom of Information Center (AFIC) has also extended PPDA’s attempts to publish data on public procurement by creating a highly interactive open data dashboard.

Open Data Dashboard Developed by AFIC

In Conclusion

Disclosure of information on public procurement in time helps prevent situations such as the events in Kabale.

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