Construction of Mbarara’s Shs 20bn new market is completed after more than 5 years

MBARARA – Mbarara Central Market that had stalled for about five years since 2018 has been completed. The contractor, Roko Construction Company officially handed it over to the City Council.

The new market was officially handed over in a function that was presided over by Ettedu JJ Geoffrey, Assistant Commissioner Ministry of Local Government who warned leaders that the market is for vendors and not Mbarara politicians or civic servants.

“Please political leaders and civil servants of the city, let’s not become vendors because the new market facility is for vendors and not anybody who intends to make an attempt at business,” Ettedu said.

Ettedu said the ministry together with the city leadership are harmonizing the registers to ensure a smooth reallocation of vendors without causing any conflict.

“Before registration, we had asked the Municipal Council to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each of the vendors; that is the basis we want to use to confirm the original vendors,” he explained.

The Assistant Commissioner said the resettlement duty will then be conducted by the constituted allocation committee.

“The allocation committee of vendors is constituted by heads of each section in the market, where the City Town Clerk conducted an election. The results of the election were then forwarded to us and discussed by a team from the Ministry in a meeting chaired by the Commissioner of Urban Administration,” said Ettedu.

Arthur Abirebe, the new City Town Clerk also confirmed that the new city market will be occupied by the vendors and not politicians and civil servants because they can afford to pay rent.

“If you know someone was a vendor in the old market, don’t maliciously block him/her from operating in the new facility. We appeal to the public to do this verification exercise objectively because this is a new market. It should not appear like some people are being victimized,” Abirebe emphasized.

The City Clerk also appealed to vendors to comply with the levies charged for the city to maintain the new face of the modern market structure.

“As officials of this city, we shall levy taxes on vendors to ensure that we maintain this market in good condition. So, when we call upon you to pay your taxes, please cooperate and do it with passion to that we are able to maintain its good ambiance,” he said.

Abirebe also encouraged the contractor to sort out all the defects within the given liability period as per the contract.

“Every function has to work properly including the day care centre that had an oversight. It must be corrected within the given 12 months period.”

The City Mayor, Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi expressed happiness at the achievement recorded during his 2nd term in office, and thanked the contractor and the ministry for delivering the first modern market in Mbarara.

“If there is anybody that is extremely happy, I am the one. The day has finally come, when I as the Mayor, will relocate the vendors to their original market where I had shifted them and I am sure the people of Mbarara will enjoy the beauty of the market,” Kakyebezi said.

However, Nyombi Muhammad, the Chairperson Mbarara Central Market Association advised the city leadership not to rush to allocate the vendors.

“We have spent about five years waiting for the completion of this market so we should not be pressured to occupy the stalls. Let’s take our time and prepare systematically to transit well to our new market space,” Muhammad said.

He also appealed to the city leadership to provide technocrats who should run some of the technological systems within the ministry.

“They installed some equipment such as ICTV cameras, which vendors cannot operate. We request that through council, technical people should be employed to run such services,” said Muhammad.

Mbarara Central Market was contracted to Roko Construction Company in February 2018 at a contract sum of more than Shs 20bn and was supposed to be handed over on 9th October, 2020.

The regional market located along Buremba road is among the presidential initiatives under the Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Project (MATIP) funded by USD 84.2M (about 284b) loan sourced from the African Development Bank (ADB) and USD 9.52M (about 32b) contributed by the government to alleviate poverty and improvement of agricultural trade.

The 485-lockup facility will accommodate about 1000 vendors selling food stuffs, salons, restaurants, day care, banks among others.

Several other central and auxiliary markets have been constructed in Busia, Masaka, Kasese, Arua, Soroti, Moroto, Tororo, Kitgum and Lugazi.

Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our countrywide vending points or an e-copy on

The post Construction of Mbarara’s Shs 20bn new market is completed after more than 5 years appeared first on The Cooperator News.