Vendors abandon 500 stalls at Arua market for streets

Government opened the Shs34 billion structure in January. It was  constructed under the second phase of the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme.

More than 500 stalls in Arua Central Market have been abandoned after several traders rejected them on grounds that their customers cannot easily access them.
The traders have since returned to the streets, stifling revenue collection efforts.
The market is supposed to accommodate about 5,500 vendors, but currently has 3,800.
Speaking to Daily Monitor on Tuesday, Ms Annet Alezuyo, a market vendor, said some traders do not want to pay market dues and rental fees yet the facility keeps their goods in an organised manner.
 “We have been suffering because of rain but we are safe in the new market. The only challenge is that we lost some of our customers when we shifted from the temporary market to this new place,” Ms Alezuyo said.  
Ms Margret Driwaru,47, another trader, said the illegal vendors are frustrating revenue collection.
 “Our people do not want to climb the stairs and buy things. This is why we still have a lot of unoccupied space. The city authorities should make sure that people occupy these places,” Ms Driwaru said.
She added: “Even in Kampala, people can still do business in shopping arcades. Our people should get civilised and do business in designated areas.”
The chairperson of the market allocation committee, Mr Hebert Odama, said they negotiated with vendors on payment for stalls which is from Shs7,000 to Shs15,000 per month. 
“Lockups are charged Shs80,000 to Shs300,000 per month. We hope the city leaders bring all street vendors in the market,” he said.
The deputy city clerk, Mr Cornelius Jobile, said they are in talks with the enforcement team to peacefully return the vendors to the market. 
“We have tremendously registered increase in revenue from Shs40 million from the old market monthly to Shs138 million from January to April,” Mr Jobile said.
About the market
Government opened the Shs34 billion structure in January. It was  constructed under the second phase of the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme. 
The market has a bulk storage facility, day care centre, clinics and pharmacies, restaurants, water storage facility, waste collection and disposal, CCTV cameras and fire-fighting installations, parking facility and value addition facility, among others. 
 

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