By Francis Emorut
World over, markets are vital for empowering citizens economically, but this is far from the case for residents of Busia whose market has been abandoned for the last 10 years.
Built by the efforts of residents of the area in 2003, the people have never traded any item in it following a dispute between National Forestry Authority (NFA) officials and the locals.
“Whereas many traders operating in markets countrywide will cash in during the Christmas period, for us in Busia will miss that opportunity,” said Francis Ngolobe, the LCI chairman of Bubolwa B.
The idle market is located at the Busitema junction of Tororo-Busia highways.
Ngolobe said the residents are angry because they have been forced to go to far markets to sell their goods and provide services.
Stella Awino, who trades sweet potatoes and matooke (bananas) noted that while many traders across the country will be doing brisk business during the festive season, she wont be able to afford to hire a stall in nearby markets.
She longs to use the market she built with others but is worried she might not realise her dream.
The executive director of Uganda Debt Network asked the residents to hold their leaders accountable and report corruption cases.
He said this at the launch of anti-corruption mural to remind road users on how corruption denies citizens social services and undermines development.
The new mural is a reminder that corruption hurts development. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
Deborah Mbabazi, the Busia deputy resident district commissioner said her attempts to inquire about the abandoned market from the district leaders was fruitless.
Meanwhile the youth are doing brisk business in fuel and are ferrying it with bicycles.
The youth get fuel at Busitema Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) check point manned by both plain-clothed and uniformed security officers.
According to the residents of the area, fuel trucks which are found to be overloaded at the weigh bridge have the excess litres of fuel siphoned out and it is this excess that that the youth trade in.
It is said the youth sell fuel to taxi drivers who ply Kampala-Busia and Kampala-Tororo highways and the Malaba route.
The youth are in brisk fuel business. PHOTO/Francis Emorut