Poor state of multibillion Hoima Central Market worries leaders

HOIMA – Six years after construction of the Hoima Modern Market, local leaders have identified a number of anomalies with the structure that seem to affect the efficient running of business at the facility.

The facility built under the Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Project (MATIP) was constructed by Amugoli General Enterprises.

The Shs13 billion project was funded by the African Development Bank (ADB).

Brian Kaboyo, the Hoima City Mayor, said the anomalies have left several stalls unoccupied. The facility that hosts 561 vendors in 358 stalls has 37 unoccupied stalls. Also 9 out of 171 lockups are not occupied.

Kaboyo made the revelations last week while meeting the State Minister for Local Government, Victoria Rusoke, who was on a country tour to ascertain challenges faced with cities and markets.

According to Kaboyo, the drainage channel did not slope well to enable the flow of water and other waste materials and this requires regular cleaning of channels and leads to the high cost of maintenance.

He also complained about the lack of direct access to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors of the market adding that when the ground floor is closed, vendors and other businesses on the upper floors have no option but to close and move out.

Kaboyo further explained that the market is lacking solid waste collection points inside and outside which makes it difficult to manage the wastes at the facility.

He added that the market was connected on commercial meters for both water and electricity yet the vendors are very poor and they cannot afford paying such utilities. He called on the government to get solar systems in the facility to reduce the expenditure incurred on electricity.

Besides, the market is currently leaking which is resulting to the peeling of the ceiling and developing cracks.

Kaboyo appealed to the Minister to send a team of MATIP engineers to come on the ground and get away of rectifying the anomalies on the facility.

Hoima Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Samuel Kisembo, also reiterated the Mayors call for immediate intervention to rectify the defect and other anomalies to create a good working environment for the vendors.

He further noted that the defects need to be worked on because the more it continues like that the more its structure get weakened putting the lives of vendors at risk.

The Minister for Local Government, Victoria Businge Rusoke, promised that the government will soon get funds and install solar energy and cameras in the facility.

She also directed the RCC and Minister of Local Government to send a team on ground to investigate the claims and file a report for rectification.

“I am not happy about what I am hearing, about leakages and peeling of the ceiling because this property is not yet 15 years old and other markets are intact, so this must ring a bell in the ears of the RCC that instead of giving a year and more months; we should at least give five years or ten before we give the last fund called defects liability period, these people (contractors) do away with such issues because they know after one year, they are exonerated,” she expressed her dismay.


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A ray of hope for demoralized members of Kigarama People’s SACCO as Pre-AGMs commence

BUHWEJU – Kigarama People’s SACCO are holding pre-Annual General Meeting (AGM) in preparation for the 2021/2021 AGM due in December,2021.

According to Grace Rukumbagaza, the SACCO Chairman said, the exercise covers 6 SACCO branches and will elect 200 delegates to participate in the 2020/2021 AGM as per the SACCO bylaws.

During their first meeting in Karungu branch in Buhweju district, Rukumbagaza confirmed that 30 delegates were democratically elected instead of handpicked as some members had earlier alleged.

“It’s good that we have all witnessed how members have successfully elected their representatives not handpicked as some members had earlier alleged because you can’t hand pick all these able-bodied gentlemen and women,” said Rukumbagaza.

During his speech, Rukumbagaza also disclosed that Kigarama People’s SACCO is doing well as the board committee managed to buy a double cabin vehicle and also installed mobile banking systems to ease the banking services.

“During this Covid-19 pandemic, we spent a lot on hiring means of transport but now we have bought a car at Shs 140million, bought a house for Butare branch at Shs 60million and also used Shs 60million to complete our mobile money banking system which I want to launch today,” said Rukumbagaza.

He further added that members’ savings are secure and the SACCO is running on a share capital of Shs3.4 billion.

He also pledged that he SACCO will start giving out new loans to members effective January 2022, a time when the President promised to lift Covid19 lockdown.


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