The Minister of Local Government, Raphael Magezi has directed Soroti
City authorities to avail him of a list of market vendors currently occupying
stalls at Soroti Main Market.
Early this month, Soroti City authorities relocated vendors to the new multi-billion
market after its completion last year. The city authorities have since been
struggling to relocate vendors after realizing that many people claimed space
in the new market.
Last week, ten vendors served Soroti City Council with a notice to sue after
failing to access space in the new market. The vendors say that they signed a
Memorandum of Understanding- MoU with Soroti Municipality in 2016 to relocate
to Pamba to create space for the construction of the new market. The vendors
say they had space in the area now accommodating the market.
The vendors include George Akojoi, Isaac Aura, John Epudu, Michael Otigo,
Samuel Pasama Opio, Catherine Aanyu, Mary Omagor, Richard Ebwonyu, Peter Elengu
and Stephen Othieno. They say that in the MoU, landlords were supposed to be
given priority in the allocation of space in the new market.
The vendors are seeking One Billion Shillings as compensation from Soroti City
Council and other costs involved in litigation. They argue that the City
Council has breached the agreement and will want legal redress since other
options have not yielded results.
During a visit to Soroti on Wednesday, Magyezi was shocked to learn that some city
staff and other individuals have allocated themselves more than five lockups
// cue in “You are not…
Cue out…on the main market”//
Damali Asekenye, the Principle Community Development Officer at
the City says the allocation of space to the vendors was usurped by some
“It is true that we have people complaining after missing space in the main
market. This should have been avoided had everyone heeded our earlier
arrangements. Some people rushed to the market and have occupied lockups
without our knowledge”, she said.
Joshua Edogu, the City Mayor has directed all the staff of Soroti
City who has stalls in the market to vacate them immediately.
At the moment, more than 2,000 vendors have been allocated space in the market
constructed under the second phase of the Market and Agricultural Trade
Improvement Program- MATIP2 with funding from the African Development Bank.
The 24 Billion Shillings market was commissioned in November last
year. The market in addition to stalls and lockups has CCTV cameras linked to
the Soroti Central Police Station, 500,000-litre water tank, butchers, cold
rooms and service centres.
The new market has prayer
rooms, restaurants, day-care facilities, meeting rooms, and a Police Post.