UGANDA, Kitagwenda | Real Muloodi News | Traders in Kitagwenda Central Market in Kitagwenda District, western Uganda, are calculating their losses after a fire completely destroyed the entire market and their items worth millions of shillings over the weekend.
According to initial police investigations, the fire started about 3 a.m. on Saturday before spreading to the whole market.
The fire, according to Rwenzori West regional police spokesperson Vincent Twesige, reduced all of the booths composed of wooden poles, lumber, and iron sheets to ashes.
“The possible cause is that a charcoal stove with fire was left in the wooden kiosk and during our investigation, a broken charcoal stove was recovered at the scene,” he said.
Kitagwenda Town Council’s major source of revenue has been the market, which has been operating for four years.
Mr Anent Asiimwe, a market trader, claimed she had bags of charcoal, six basins of Irish potatoes, and other products on her booth, but they had all been burned.
“I don’t know what I will do; all my stock was burnt. I have got a bank loan to run my business to ensure that when the school term opens, I will have raised school fees for my children, I request the government to come to our rescue and give us some startup funds,” she said.
Mr Samuel Nuwagaba, who was awarded a contract to collect dues on behalf of the town government, stated that he had invested USh700,000 and anticipates collecting USh2.5 million.
“I don’t know what to do, the market was burnt into ashes, I request the leadership of the town council to refund my money because the market is no more, where will I be collecting the money? I acquired the tender last week,” he said.
Mr Nuwagaba further stated that he had stored products worth 800,000 at the market and expected to collect USh1.5 million following sales.
Mr Musa Arinaitwe, the market’s chairperson, stated that each seller paid Uh60,000 for each booth and USh200 as daily dues.
Kitagwenda Town Council has formed a committee to examine and document all vendors participating in the market, as well as their torched items, in collaboration with security authorities.
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