Tororo traders decry delayed operation of central market

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What you need to know:

  • It is one of the markets built by government under the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme [MATIP-2] with funding from African Development Bank.

Traders and vendors in Tororo Town have criticised the municipal leaders over delay to operationalise Tororo Central Market, three months after it was commissioned.

The Shs27.7 billion market was commissioned in November last year by President Museveni during his campaign trail.

It was constructed by Young Jin Construction Inc. Company, a Korean-based firm, with a capacity to accommodate more than 1,500 vendors.

It is one of the markets built by government under the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme [MATIP-2] with funding from African Development Bank.

The traders told Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday that the municipal officials have continued to block them from operating within the facility over unknown reasons.

“We were told when the President was here that we will be shifted immediately but it’s now two months and there is no hope of when we shall leave the streets,” Ms Janet Opolot, a vendor, said.

Mr Joseph Okolong Langalanga, the chairperson of Tororo Market vendors and business association, said their businesses have been affected.

“The temporary market, where we operate is congested and above all, it doesn’t have a lighting system. When it clocks 7pm, no business can be conducted yet this is the time when people come to shop most,” he said.
 Mr Okolong said they have tried to engage the leaders as to why they are delaying to open the market in vain.

Ms Janet Akayo, a vendor, said the delay could be a deliberate plan by the municipal officials, whom she accused of  soliciting bribes from potential businessmen to allocate them lockup shops in the market.

“There is a hidden motive because if not, why is the facility still lying idle even after it was commissioned by President Museveni,” she said.

During the commissioning, President Museveni said the market would help  in the fight against poverty through creation of job opportunities.

“This showcases the ideology of National Resistance Movement and I now request the people to stop working for only their stomachs. They should work with good calculation to empower themselves financially,” Mr Museveni said.

The market has stalls, lockup shops, stores, banking institutions, police post, day-care centre, solar lighting system, fire extinguishers, fire outbreak detectors, cold storage facilities, warehouse, and water reservoir, among others.

Authorities say
The town clerk, Mr Paul Omoko, said  the preparations to shift the vendors to the new facility were disorganised by the campaigns.
“We apologise for the delay but we are also following the laid down procedures by the Ministry of Local Government, where we have to verify the vendors  before we shift them,” he said.

Mr John Opio, the mayor, said the delay was to ensure that exercise of allocating stalls and other facilities is transparent.
“The process is slow because we  want to avoid a situation, where the process is marred with corruption,” he said.