Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Vendors in Lukaya town council have shunned the new market saying it is far from the well-known trading centre and lacks ample parking space.
Some claim that it was poorly built and lacks sufficient space for motorists to park while buying eats and refreshments, fruits and vegetables among other items.
The new market is located along Masaka-Kampala highway just about 300 meters from the road toll market in Lukaya trading center where the vendors have been operating for several years.
The Shillings 2.9 billion market hosts 200 stalls but only five are occupied. The market was built as part of the presidential pledge to get the vendors off the streets and highway to a safer place.
Adnan Ssembuya and Rashid Kibidde are among the five who have occupied their stalls in the new market, saying there are various reasons why their colleagues chose to reject the market.
They say that the vendors are adamant because the town council authorities are treating them with baby gloves.
According to the fishermen operating stalls along the highway, the market is poorly organized and their customers will find a hard time getting where to park their vehicles.
Ann Mildred Nalulyo, the town clerk Lukaya town council says that she got information last week that the vendors had occupied their stalls and elected their leadership.
However, she visited the market on Monday but to her shock, there were only five people and the rest were still in Lukaya trading center and others on the highway.
Nalulyo has given the vendors an ultimatum of three days to occupy their stalls, saying that failure to do so, the empty stalls will be given to other vendors who may express interest.
This will be done to enforce directives by the town council to remove all street and highway vendors and relocate them to the new market.
The market was built in two phases and cost taxpayers money worth Shillings 953.962,549 in the first phase, which started in 2010 and Shillings 2.09 Bn in the second phase.
In February 2021, Raphael Magyezi, the Local Government Minister handed over the market to Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, the then Minister of Works and Transport (MoWT) and appealed to the vendors to leave the streets and occupy their stalls.