Al-Hajj Isah Afeku Kato, the Arua Municipal Mayor has bitterly clashed with Jackson Atima, the Chairman Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Arua over a trade show.
It all started when Atima and his Executive members bided to host this year’s trade show at Arua Hill Primary school ground in Arua Hill Division, Arua Municipality from December 8-26, 2017.
After fulfilling all the necessary requirements to Arua Municipal Council, the Chamber members were later, shocked to hear that Arua Municipal
officials decided to permit another client to host a similar event at Arua primary school play ground in River Oli Division during the same period.
It was on this ground that the traders’ union bosses petitioned various offices including the Arua district security committee for the cancellation of the second trade show arguing that it will affect their business since in the history of Arua, there has been no parallel trade shows organized at the same time.
As a result, police on Tuesday swung in action to order the organizers of the trade show at Arua Primary school grounds to vacate the area to avoid
possible cases of insecurity.
However, in the company of Joseph Monday Bagonza, the Arua Municipal Deputy Town Clerk and Rajab Kamil, the Arua Municipal Chief Finance Officer, Kato, on the fateful day, stormed Arua CPS to bash police for their action.
Kato alleged that William Edidu, the OC Arua CPS was biased to work with Atima to stop the other trade show yet it was legally permitted by the Town
Clerk, who maintained silence at the time of the outburst.
“You police are biased. How can you go and stop something which is legally cleared by Town Clerk yet the other day, we gave you fuel to go and restore calm at the taxi park and you failed to go,” Kato fumed.
Kato alleged that Atima compromised police and the entire district security committee including the regional intelligence security officer (RISO) West
Nile to sabotage Council operations by stopping the trade show at Arua primary school grounds.
Kato vowed to incite locals to storm Arua CPS in protest of police decision to stop the contested trade show.
But Edidu simply denied Kato’s allegations ongrounds that as police, they just came in to maintain peace and order.
When contacted over the matter, Atima accused Kato of being ignorant of council business operations, adding that the Town Clerk (Monday) said it was Kato who instructed him to approve the second trade show and referred him (Atima) to Kato for intervention.
Earlier on, Jobel Ayiko, the Arua Municipal Commercial Officer said the Arua primary school trade show was approved without his consultation.
According to Ayiko, it was not in order to allow two trade shows to take place at the same time in the same Municipal Council arguing that such an
act affects the flow of business.