UGANDA, Soroti | Real Muloodi News | Last week, while on a visit to Soroti, the minister of Local Government, Raphael Magezi, instructed Soroti City leaders to show him the list of vendors currently occupying stalls in Soroti primary market.
His request follows many reports by vendors claiming they missed out on slots in the new market. Ten vendors have already served Soroti City Council with a notice to sue, after being denied space in the new market.
The vendors say they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Soroti municipality in 2016 to smooth out the relocation to Pamba and availing space for the construction of the new market.
These vendors assert they had space for their business in the area where the new market is now. Hence, the Soroti City Council breached their agreement. They are currently seeking one billion shillings as compensation from Soroti City Council and other costs involved in litigation.
While in Soroti on Wednesday, Magyezi was alarmed to learn that some Soroti city leaders allocated themselves over five stalls each.
Damali Asekenye, the principal community development officer in the city, said, “It is true that we have people complaining after missing space in the major market. This should have been avoided had everyone heeded to our earlier arrangements. Some people rushed to the market and have occupied lockups without our knowledge.”
“All the staff of Soroti city who have stalls in the market must vacate them immediately,” said Joshua Edogu, the Soroti City Mayor.
Over 2,000 vendors have allocated space in the market constructed under the second phase of the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program-MATIP2 with funding from the African Development Bank.
The new market was commissioned in November 2021 at USh 24 billion. It features stalls, lockups, CCTV cameras linked to the Soroti Central Police Station, a 500,000-litre water tank, prayer rooms, butchers, restaurants, cold rooms, daycare facilities, meeting rooms, and a police post.
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