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Construction Delays Mbarara City Council UGX 600m Market

Mbarara City Central Market is being constructed under the Markets Agriculture Trade Improvement Programme (MATIP) and funded by the African Development Bank.
22 Feb 2021 14:31
Grocery stalls in the current central market in the independence park (Photo Edson Kinene)

Audio 4

Mbarara city council has lost 600 million Shillings due to delays in finalising the construction of the Central Market. Construction of the 21 billion Shilling structure started in February 2018 and was expected to be completed in January 2020. However, this has been extended three times, the last ending this month.

The construction of the market was awarded to Roko Construction Company Limited. About 1,000 Vendors that used to operate from the central Market located along Buremba Road were placed temporarily at Independence Park along the Kabale Road on  July 1, 2017, to pave way for construction. 

The Mbarara City Council Deputy Clerk, Richard Mugisha, says the delay has now cost them a lot of funds that would have helped develop the city. He says because the conditions at the independence park are not all that conducive they suspended the daily taxing of the vendors.

“You know the market was owned by the council and we were getting a lot of money from for example rent. We used to collect more than 500 million Shillings every year and the vendors were paying other daily dues. We had projected 100 million Shillings per year from taxes.

//Cue in; “actually we were…

Cue out…the daily dues.”//

Mugisha says the city local revenue has decreased from 8 billion to around 6.9 billion Shillings since all sources that surrounded the central market like Taxi/Bus park used to feed to and from the market.

Apart from the costs, Mugisha says where the vendors  are temporarily located now at independence park has another project under Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) projects menu to design and beautify it. He says the delay to complete the construction has also affected the USMID project.

//Cue in; “so there is…

Cue out…is a cost.”//

Nyombi Muhammad, the chairperson of Mbarara Central Market Vendors Association says they have also lost a lot of their business capital as customers have dwindled with time. He says they refused to pay taxes because their sales have decreased since they are facing competition from street vendors and hawkers who refused to settle in the market.

//Cue in; “kugira ngu titurikuha…

Cue out…emidara omu streets.”// 

Enock Katambara, a vendor agrees that they don’t pay taxes but only pay garbage collection feeS which they are also failing to pay because people have abandoned the market.

//Cue in; “true we are…

Cue out…support our family.”//

Nyombi now wants the government to ask the contractor to compensate them for all the lost time and sales. However, Mugisha says before compensation is done a lot is needed to be undertaken especially on the issues causing the delay.

He says the delay in these circumstances has to be agreed upon depending on the reasons given by all the stakeholders and the provisions in the contract where the contractor is unable to finish within the stipulated time what happens and that’s why the life of the contract is renewed.

//Cue in; “but the contract…

Cue out…constraints are understood.”//

Raphael Magyezi, Minister local government earlier said that they are looking at whether to extend the contract again since the last extension of January 2021 has also expired.

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