Nyendo Township Market in Masaka city, is struggling to attract vendors four
years after it was commissioned.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in April 2017 commissioned the market
which was constructed at 13 billion Shillings obtained from the Arab
Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA). The new market was supposed to
accommodate at least 800 vendors who were previously operating from the old
makeshift wooden stalls.
However, the biggest part of the market is currently vacant as the
vendors cite the high cost of rent and unfavourable structural design. The 300 lockups and 80 stalls on the upper floor are vacant.
Eve Nalwanga, who deals in second-hand clothes, argues that the
market’s architectural design does not favour the nature of their businesses.
She explains that the lockups and stalls on the upper floor are not easily
accessible by their customers.
Margret Nakalema, a dealer in utensils argues that
the 30,000 shillings monthly rent fees paid per stall in addition to other utility
bills are not affordable compared to the sales they make from the market.
She says they prefer operating from the open courtyard where they
only pay 500 Shillings daily dues, other than remaining stuck inside the market structure
where they can’t be accessed by the customers.
//Cue in; (Luganda) “naye akatale ….
Cue out; ,….naye tetukola.”//
Moses Mukuye, another vendor dealing in foodstuffs indicates that they prefer
working on the roadside where they attract customers other than inside the
market that is enclosed.
He faults the Ministry of Local Government which was directly
charged with the project for not conducting a feasibility study and
consultation with the vendors to have an input in the project design before
actual construction could commence.
Michael Mulindwa Nakumusana, the Nyendo-Mukungwe division
chairperson says they are currently engaging vendors to embrace the new market
He says they were compelled to allow the vendors to return to the
market yard and on the roadside to reduce the scramble for stalls on the ground
floor, as they devise means of addressing the inconsistencies.