The investigation was conducted amidst disagreements between city authorities and market vendors, with many of them refusing to take up lockups allocated to them. The disagreement has also affected the planned relocation of vendors from the temporal market along Serere road to the newly constructed main market.
The allocation of lockups to
vendors at Soroti Main Market was marred by several irregularities, according to an investigation report released by Soroti Resident City Commissioner-RCC Robert Adiama
The investigation was conducted amidst disagreements between city authorities and
market vendors, with many of them refusing to take up lockups allocated to them. The disagreement has also affected the planned relocation of vendors from the temporal market along
Serere road to the newly constructed main market.
Onyait, one of the market vendors says the city authorities have reserved all
the lockups on the ground floor for unknown people and piled vendors in the
upper floors. Onyait explains that the Memorandum of Understanding between
Soroti Municipal Council then and the vendors gave priority to landlords, their
tenants, people operating businesses and those whose leases could have expired
by the time of market construction.
He, however, notes that in the allocation
plan, none of the four categories was considered in their previous business
areas but instead, new faces emerged in the market.
Ateso//Cue in “Ngun lu ejaasi…
Cue out…kwap nee”//
Now Robert Adiama says that the investigation has established how some individuals have allocated themselves up to five plots while others bought
their way into the market. Without divulging details, Adiama noted that the detailed
report would be shared with the officials from the Ministry of Local Government
who are expected in Soroti this Friday.
Teso//Cue in “Icie itunga…
Cue out…ajaasi gaps.”//
Moses Otimong, the acting city clerk of Soroti agrees that
some people who were not registered at first have shown interest in the market
but notes that they have vetted and came up with a clean list. According
to Otimong, more than 2,000 people had shown interest but the committee vetted
But while appearing for a talk show on one of the radio stations
in Soroti, Moses Attan Okia, the Soroti City East MP faulted officials in the city for playing double standards in the allocation of lockups to the vendors in the new
market. Attan noted that the situation in the market could cost Soroti
City Council especially if vendors ran to court over breach of contract.
//Cue in “We can’t remain…
Cue out…these mistakes.”//
The 24 billion Shillings market was constructed with funding
from the African Development Bank and commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni
in November last year. It was expected to commence operations in March after
1,316 vendors were reported to have been vetted but the process has dragged on.