TRADERS in Mbarara town have opposed a decision by the Government to redevelop markets, saying they would lose the ownership of the premises.
Central, Rwebikoona and Nyamityobora markets have been selected for redevelopment. Members of the Rwebikoona Old Traders Association recently held a meeting at ATSH Hotel in Rwebikoona, Kamukuzi Division in which they expressed fear that they would be chased away once the markets are complete.
The vice-chairperson, Honarato Rutaro, said the former local government minister, Maj Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, in 2007 allowed sitting market vendors in Mbarara to redevelop their own markets on condition that they mobilise funds and that they are able to construct modern markets in accordance with standards set by the town planning department.
â€œRwebikoona Market belongs to the traders and not Mbarara Municipal Council because we have a lease and we own the buildings. If the Government develops the market, the municipal council will take control of it and we shall lose out yet we are the founders of the market.â€
Rutaro argued that they should be allowed to redevelop the markets because they could moblise funds, adding that they had refurbished some shops in Rwebikoona Market.
The Central Market chairperson, Muhammad Nyombi, said they are still waiting for the councilâ€™s decision on the matter. The town clerk, David Naluwairo, said the project would not start in July as anticipated because preparations were not complete.
He promised that the traders would be given ample time to relocate.
Mbarara market plan opposed