ARUA DISTRICT: Arua City officials have defied a ministerial directive to suspend the collection of toilet fees at Arua Central Market. Last month, the Local Government Minister, Raphael Magyezi, directed Arua city authorities to temporarily suspend the collection of toilet fees for a month.
It came after the minister discovered that the toilets in the central market generate Shillings 18 million and yet the Arua city council tendered them at only Shillings 600,000 a month. While issuing the directive in a meeting with Arua city leaders on July 22, 2022, the Minister noted that vendors should not pay the toilet fees because it is the responsibility of the council to provide the services to the people in the city.
However, Molly Ayikoru, a vendor in Arua’s central market, notes that the minister’s directive is yet to take effect. She says that they currently pay Shillings 300 and Shillings 500 for short and long calls, respectively.
Hamida Ondo, another vendor, says they are unaware of the directive, but they have been paying to answer nature’s call. Nelson Dada, the chairman general of Arua market vendors, says that the contractors are reluctant to enforce the directive since they haven’t received any letter to that effect.
The city authorities claim the suspension of the toilet fees in the market would adversely affect their revenue collection efforts. Khemis Muzaidi, the mayor’s Arua City central division, explains that it could have been better if the minister ordered a review of the terms of the tender for the toilets rather than suspending fee collection.
There are eleven public toilets in the newly constructed Arua central market, which are currently being managed by private individuals and associations.