MP asks government to bailout St Balikuddembe Market traders

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Kampala- Legislators have asked the government to rescue traders who ply their trade in St Balikuddembe Market in Kampala whose future is uncertain if they fail to pay a Shs2.8 billion loan to dfcu bank.

Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament Betty Nambooze, says the bailout would save about 50,000 traders who earn a living from the market.

 “I would like know whether the government is considering bailing out the traders,” Ms Nambooze said during plenary at Parliament on Tuesday.  “It would be very bad if those people are dispersed when we have not even figured out where to relocate them.”

Her remarks come against a January 4, 2017 court warrant putting the market on sale.

The sale is meant to enable dfcu Bank recover a balance of Shs2.8 billion out of the Shs4 billion loan it advanced to the market leadership years ago.

They (leaders) reportedly used the money to buy the market from the then Kampala City Council and to redevelop the market.

Responding to Ms Nambooze, the Government Chief Whip, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa said although the government did not guarantee the traders loan, President Museveni was petitioned.

“A petition was made before the President. But we have not secured a response because it involves money to bail out,” Ms Nankabirwa said.

She said: “Because the President is the senior minister of Finance, what I am going to do is to make sure I get back to him and draw his attention to this matter which touches many people”.

Last year, many manufacturers and businesspersons were lined to receive billions of shillings from the government to shore up their businesses, which they claimed had been affected by low economic growth rates.

They justified their need by claiming that if the government did not bail them, thousands of people employed by the entities would become jobless.

It is not clear weather the government bailed out the traders who have since stopped petitioning various departments to seek help.

What is clear is that the public was against using public funds to bailout private entities that do not share their profits with the public.

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