UGANDA, Mbarara | Real Muloodi News | There is growing excitement among the leaders, the business community, and Mbarara City residents because of the USh 21 billion new Mbarara central market that is nearing completion.
In July 2017, Mbarara authorities moved over 700 vendors to Independence Park to pave the way to reconstruct the new market. Leaders expected the market to accommodate over 3,000 traders and had a completion date slated for February 14, 2020.
However, the project faced several setbacks, including the Covid-19 pandemic related delays and the contractors’ performance guarantees’ expiration.
The delayed completion of the four-storeyed market created a lot of frustration for traders, who said they lost money in their temporary structures.
Mbarara City authorities have written to the Minister of Local Government, Mr Rapheal Magyezi, seeking guidance on relocating vendors to the newly constructed market. During the council meeting last Wednesday, the Mbarara City Mayor Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi said they would soon commission the market as it is in the completion stage.
“The new Mbarara central market project is at completion. We have informed the responsible ministry to guide us on how the allocation will be done, but also to spearhead the invitation of the President to come and commission it,” Mr Kakyebezi said.
To reduce overcrowding and congestion on Mbarara streets, Mr Muhammad Byansi, the councillor for Mbarara City, South, appealed to the council to consider allocating space to roadside traders in the market.
“We agreed the council should consider people who were previously in the market and those that are doing business on the city streets so that we can have an orderly city,” Mr Byansi said.
Mr Muhammad further said the traders and the residents should be happy that the government delivers on its mandate.
The minister said he would invite the President to commission the market once the contractor hands over the project.
“The contractor told me in three weeks and I have given them to the end of the month (November) then I will call the President,” the minister said.
According to Hon. Magyezi, the traders who moved to a temporary structure in Independence Park, should be prioritised when allocating space in the new market.
“They have waited for so long. The traders have been under the sun, under the rain. So now I am happy they are going to occupy the good market,” Hon. Magyezi said.
Minister Magyezi urged the chairperson of the market vendors to work with city authorities in verifying vendors who are in line to get stalls in the new market.
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