A group of traders and vendors have abandoned their lockups and stalls in the newly built Busia main market citing low business. The traders and vendors have moved to other markets and the streets.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni commissioned the Shillings 25 billion Busia main market in December 2020. The market was designed to accommodate1,700 traders. It comprises space for a Bank, pharmacy, police station and Kindergarten among others.
However, many of the spaces are still vacant. Mary Misanya, one of the tomato vendors who abandoned the main market, says that she was registering losses due to the absence of customers. She, however, says that the situation improved when she returned to Mawero market along Tororo road.
Christine Nanyonjo, another trader, says that she left the main market and returned to Arubaine market where her Matooke business is doing well. Khalid Mugoya, the chairman of fresh food traders in Busia main market, says that his section has a space to accommodate about 500 traders but less than 100 vendors operate there.
Fatuma Muhamad and Kevinah Namwabi operate on the first floor of Busia main market. The two say business has failed to pick up due to the absence of customers. They have appealed to Busia municipal council authorities to evict street vendors to push their customers to the market.
Kenyatta Wanjala, the chairman of Busia main market says that they have severally asked the Municipal council authorities to evict street vendors in vain.
Sadiq Amin Agele, the mayor of Busia Municipality blames the challenge in the main market on the unfair re-allocation of space to traders last year. He says that most of the people who were allocated space in the main market are not traders.
On Thursday last week, during her mobilisation meeting for the Parish Development Model in Busia district, the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja directed the Municipal authorities to conduct a fresh re-allocation exercise of the spaces in the market.
Victoria Rusoke, the Minister of Local Government promised to address the concern within a short period.
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