Construction of Moroto Central Market Stalls

The market, whose construction started in April 2018 was supposed to have been completed by April 2020.
Front view of Moroto Central Market.

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The construction of Moroto Central Market has stalled for more than six months.

The market, whose construction started in April 2018 was supposed to have been completed by April 2020.  Contract of the 20 Billion Shillings market was awarded to Ambitious Construction Company Limited. 

A source in the company who preferred anonymity says that they finished with the major works in the market in November and have since been waiting for the Ministry of Local Government and Moroto Municipal Council to approve the next phase of works.

According to the source, the company is remaining with the construction of the parking yard that includes putting in pavers and installation of the solar lighting system. The source explains that the progress in works was affected by the death of Eng. Philip Pichan Cwinyai, the contract manager from the Ministry of Local Government last year. Eng. Pichan succumbed to COVID-19.

“We used to conduct monthly meetings at the site on the progress of work from the onset of construction works where Eng. Pichan was very instrumental but since his demise, we have not had any inspection meetings. Our progress here has since slowed down because the Ministry officials say they are yet to replace Eng. Pichan”, the source said.

However, some residents and the business community are suspicious of shoddy works. They claim that the facility has developed cracks and want the government to intervene. 

“As residents and the businesswoman here, we are not allowed to access that market but some of their workers have told us that the market has developed cracks. Personally, even when the market opens, I will not enter inside but will continue to operate from outside”, Joyce Nakiru, a vendor in Moroto said.

Athuman Ssebaduka, the Town Clerk of Moroto Municipal Council declined to comment on the matter. However Joshua Logir, an Engineer says the market has had a lot of design reviews right from the foundation, which could have affected the completion.

He acknowledges the existence of a few cracks on the terrace floor and some walls but says that the defects are being worked on.

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During the presidential campaigns in November, it was expected that President Museveni would commission the market as he had done in Soroti, Tororo and Entebbe, however, the President’s advance team declined after they allegedly queried the substandard work.

Security guards deployed at the market said that they had been given strict orders not to allow any visitors access to the facility.

Moroto Central Market has 461 lockups, 628 stalls, 20 butcheries, 17 kitchens, seven offices, a community hall, a daycare centre, a clinic and a bank.

Once completed, the market will accommodate up to 1,200 vendors. The market is part of the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme (MATIP 11) with funding from the government and the Arab Bank of Economic Development in Africa.