The Executive of Mbale Central Market has forced its chairperson, Ayubu Madoi to step down to pave way for investigations into the allegations of financial impropriety.
Madoi, who has served as the Mbale Central market Chairperson since 2015, is accused of lack of transparency, mismanagement, financial impropriety, abuse of office and overstaying in office following the expiry of his term in 2015.
The vendors also accuse Madoi of frustrating their efforts to conduct polls for the election of new leaders, swindling Shillings 12 million from their savings group, issuing fake receipts, embezzling money collected in the market and stealing horse pipes meant for use during fire outbreaks.
Led by the 14-member executive committee, the vendors passed a vote of no confidence in Madoi last week. However, the Mbale Resident City Commissioner, Ahamada Washaki stayed the implementation of the decision, saying it was illegal.
On Tuesday, the members of the executive forced Madoi to step down in a meeting convened by the Washaki at the former Wanale Division headquarters to pave the way for investigations into the allegations levelled against him.
The City town clerk David Kyansanku and his deputy Kenneth Khatuli, the City Mayor Kasim Nmugali and the Industrial City Division Chairperson, Muhammood Masaba among other city officials also attended the meeting.
The meeting replaced Madoi with Perez Wambedde as the interim chairperson for 3 months until fresh elections are held. Washaki noted that the investigations into the affairs of the market will run for a month and gave the interim leadership up to Friday this week to lodge a written complaint.
David Kyansanku, the Mbale City Clerk, said that there has been a leadership challenge in the market after vendors started raising allegations against the chairperson.
Muhamad Wafuba, the interim market vice-chairperson, said that they are going to register all vendors and carry out a forensic audit of all the properties of the market.
Wafuba says that Madoi had deliberately refused to register all the vendors in the market, which made it hard to know their exact number.
Nabende Abubakar, the spokesperson of the market, says that the interim leadership will work together with the vendors and council authorities to ensure transparency and increase revenue collections.
The embattled chairperson, Madoi said that he could have made errors at a time he was in the leadership of the market but insisted that he consulted the market master on whatever decision he took.