Mbalwa Market Redevelopment stalls after vendors fail to raise Shs650k

Wakiso, (UG):- The redevelopment of Mbalwa Market, in Mbalwa Trading Centre, Namugongo Division, Kira Municipality in Wakiso District has stalled after the business community which was operating in it failed on the new terms.

This follows the fire that razed the wooden structures, used as makeshift kiosks. The incident which happened in the early morning of Thursday 18th April, 2024, at about 3:00 am, is said to have been caused by the sparking of the transformer that was above the market structures.

The area was hosting, charcoal sellers, chapati makers, and food vendors and at the back men were using it as a leisure park in their free time. Of course, the effect did not spare the service consumers, especially the boda bodas and casual labourers who depended on the cheap food served.

However, in another theory, some of the people our reporter interacted with, could have been malice, to chase away the traders because they had severally been warned to leave the area because of the transformer. Meaning the re-establishment of the traders in the area lay in balance.

Mr Mutembeya Micheal commonly known as Black, a businessman who operates a shop and pork joint in the area said, “The reconstruction comes as a relief to traders, who have been given a new chance to operate in the area, after a meeting they had with the owners of the land and Namugongo Division officials”.

According to the new terms, the owners are going to set up the foundation and roof of the new structure of the market, while the traders who have been operating from the area have been given priority on condition they pay 650,000/- to book and facilitate the completion of individual stalls.

The Division Council is expected to tax the traders in the long run as the market has been a business hub for over 60 people including owners and workers.

However, the redevelopment has stalled because most of the traders have failed to raise the 650,000/- as their contribution to erect individual stalls. Although the owner of the land where the market seats has played their of putting up a foundation and poles to make boundaries for individual stalls.

Apart from two or three traders who have managed to get their stalls put up and are already operating. The other traders have shifted their businesses to nearby space which they can afford.

Mr. Mutembeya suggests that, “The should re – development should be given to a private developer who can collect rent the traders”.

At the time of the fire, eyes witnesses said the damage would have been severe hadn’t it been for the quick response by the Commissioner of Police, Afande Daaki Apollo a resident, who rushed to the scene after being informed about the fire outbreak.

Afande Daaki is appreciated for coordinating the deployment of a fire brigade which put out the fire and UMEME which disconnected power from the transformer.

Mr Tayebwa Poisiano, an eyewitness who whose among the first people at the scene, said, “Without the timely response the damage would have been more because the fire would probably have spread to the neighbouring buildings”.

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