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Traders reluctant to erect new stalls

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By ANDREW BAGALA

Posted  Friday, December 6  2013 at  02:00
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KAMPALA- The Nakivubo Park Yard Market traders yesterday had resumed selling their merchandise at the fire-razed parking lot but seemed hesitant to erect new structures as was the case after the 2011 fire.

Many traders displayed their merchandise on the open ground as they waited for customers.

Some said they would wait until when the government fulfil its promise of reconstructing the market using fire proof materials.

Mr Kirwisa Matovu, one of the traders, said me and my colleagues we are waiting for government’s promise to buy metallic rods to erect the stalls.
President Museveni, through Dr Crispus Kiytonga, the minister for Defence pledged Shs1 billion towards the reconstruction of the market.

“The government will help you with Shs1 billion. Your leaders will meet with government officials on Friday [today] to see how the funds will be distributed,” Dr Kiyonga said.

However, traders rejected a suggestion by the two ministers to channel the funds through their leaders, saying “they (leaders) are not trustworthy”.

“Those leaders have just left prison because they mismanaged funds given to us after the recent fire. We want the government to construct for us new stalls,” one of the traders told the ministers.

The challenge
However, the biggest challenge is that the land on which the market sits is owned by Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium, which doesn’t want permanent structures on it.
Recently, the stadium’s management had asked traders to give way for the redevelopment of the area into a modern parking area, but the traders vehemently rejected the demand.

After the first fire razed the market in 2009, the government set up an investigation committee, whose findings are yet to be made public.

The government also gave traders a Shs1 billion loan, where each of them would get Shs30,000. But some of them are yet to pay back.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com