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Fish Vendors defy council eviction notice over unpaid rent

Fish vendors in Mbarara central market have vowed not to vacate or pay rent despite the city council’s one week ultimatum.

These fish vendors, who typically pay a monthly rental fee of UGX 100,000, have refused to pay for the past twelve months, arguing that the amount is too high given their low income status.

It’s worth noting that last week, Assy Abireebe Tumwesigire, the Mbarara city clerk emphasized that non-compliant vendors will be required to vacate the market within one week with the option of paying all rent arrears owed to the council or face legal action.

In response, the vendors have declared their intention to remain in the market and have threatened to carry out peaceful protests.

According to Abireebe, the council calculated the rental fees based on the expenses required for market maintenance, amounting to UGX 30 million monthly.

Quraish Rugemwa, a fish vendor who doubles as the Publicity Secretary for Mbarara Central Market Vendors Association, explained their reluctance to pay the fee of UGX 100,000 monthly.

He noted that there are other additional expenses such as electricity bills of UGX 300,000 for deep freezers, water bills of UGX 22,000, and the rent, totaling UGX 422,000 monthly, which they consider exorbitant compared to the other vendors in the market.

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