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 lock down when part of the market was closed.
Electricity was disconnected for four days until Tuesday evening when the
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.
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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 channelling 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
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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