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Gulu main market struggling to settle UGX 22M power bill

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Gulu main market is struggling to settle an outstanding power bill of 22 million Shillings that accumulated in the last six months.

Francis Mego-Lonyo, the market master says the bill accumulated during the covid-19 lockdown when part of the market was closed.

Electricity was disconnected for four days until Tuesday evening when an agreement was reached between Umeme officials and the vendors.

Mego-Lonyo however noted that they have only managed to raise 1.6 million shillings of the debt.

He further explained that the market is struggling to generate revenue with close to 30 percent of the vendors who have not yet returned to the market while others have relocated to the villages.

Mike Howard, a trader selling locally made juice and soft drinks says he has suffered losses and has so far lost between 200,000 and 250,000 shillings for the four days of the blackout.

“I have been consistently paying 70,000 Shillings for the power bill but the problem here is with our management who haven’t been channeling the money to Umeme,” Howard said.

Lillian Rose Adong says they have been rendered jobless due to lack of power. She notes that business is very low, customers are running to the shops on the streets and they are completely losing out the market.

Doreen Ogenga, the Umeme operations manager Gulu says that a mutual understanding was reached with the vendors for the re-installation of power in the market.

Gulu main market was constructed at the cost of 29 billion shillings under the Market Agricultural Trade Improvement Project- MATIP and commissioned by President Museveni in 2016 with the expected capacity to accommodate over 4,000 vendors.

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