By Vision Reporter
A sh26.9b market was Tuesday commissioned with an assurance to the vendors that the sitting tenants will be given first priority in the allocation of stalls.
Commissioning the market complex, President Museveni assured Ugandans that inspite of the lies spread by some people the truth always come to light.
"You have been hearing that the NRM promises air, this is the NRM that promised to fight Amin and UPC and it has done it.
The lie gets up very early to travel but the truth always finds it there. There is no way NRM can promise air," he said.
Museveni tours the new Mbale main market. All Photos/Paul Watala
The President gave the assurance while commissioning Mbale Central Market which is one of the seven markets government has built under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme – MATIP.
Other markets constructed under this programme include: Wandegeya in Kampla, Jinja Central Market, Gulu Main Market, Hoima and Lira Main Markets and Mpanga Market.
A total of 4316 vendors were evacuated from the old market to pave way for the construction of the modern market which among other facilities has stalls, a day care center, a police station, pharmacies, a car park, loading and off loading bays, cubicle, paved pitches and kiosks.
The market was constructed using a loan from the African development bank.
Museveni plants a tree during the launch of Mbale main Market.
The President explained that work on the markets has taken a long time because of limited funds due to a narrow tax base.
He however, added that the economy has now improved and the government is able to collect sh9000b annually.
He added that this has enabled the government to take on other projects like Mbale –Tororo Road and Mbale- Bubulo – Magare to Bumbo to be embarked on soon.
On the confusion caused by alleged unfair allocation of stalls to the rich people, Museveni assured them that this will be sorted out.
“We asked the sitting tenants to move out so that we can build the market and they come back, and they will get first priority; nobody will change that," he assured.
Museveni waters the tree after the launch of Mbale main market.
He said that for the rural areas, veterans have been given seedlings and animals to alleviate poverty, a program which will later be extended to the wanainchi. He also lashed out at NAADS officials who used to take a lot of money but without any tangible results.
“There’s a problem here, where does all the money go. If somebody eats government money, it is like eating a cow with anthrax, you die. Government money is documented and can be followed," he said.
He called on members of parliament and district officials like CAOs to monitor government funds to see that it is not wasted.
The minister for local government, Adolf Mwesige, assured vendors that their verification will be done afresh to iron out all the confusion. He also told them that a grace period of two months will be given to them before they start paying rent.
On arrival at the Mbale Central Market, the President planted a tree and toured the new facility.
Earlier on arrival at St Paul College- Mbale, the President commissioned a water extension project at the school which is expected to serve a population of 800 pupils.
He also commissioned Wapa apartments at Nabuyonga Rise near Mbale town, constructed in commemoration of the late James Wapakhabulo.
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President commissions multibillion Mbale market complex