Tororo – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, also NRM party’s presidential Candidate, has commissioned the Tororo Main Market that cost up to UGX28bn.
The new Tororo Central Market is set to be occupied by over 2,000 vendors dealing in various produces, food-stuff, among others – creating up to 4,000 jobs for vendors and other service providers in the value chain.
The UGX28Bn Modern market has facilities like lockups, saloons, secretarial services shops, warehousing and wholesale facilities, restaurants, stalls with lockers for foodstuffs, groceries, clothes, shoes, stalls for fish and meat, cold storage rooms and fish dressing rooms.
Other facilities include space for banks/ microfinance institutions, clinics, pharmacies and a day-care centre among others. To ensure consistent water and power supply to the facility, a reservoir and transformer have been set up respectively.
While speaking to the press, Member of Parliament – Tororo Municipality, Hon. Ofwono Apollo Yeri revealed that the market is a dedication to the local vendors that previously operated in the demolished old market.
“Mainly composed of the women and youths, Tororo Central Market is open to the previous vendors. The market will cater to over 2,000 vendors with scope to create jobs and improve incomes for the group that makes the biggest portion,” said Hon. Yeri highlighting some of the benefits of the newly commissioned market.
Hon. Yeri also urged the government to grant Tororo city status citing the construction of a modern market, road and railway network, and infrastructure was an indication of the city status.
“With a modern market of Tororo Central Market, Tororo is ready for city status. We have a good road and railway network and factories (investment) here. All towns presented for elevation to city status have been granted; why not Tororo?” Hon. Yeri asked rhetorically.
Yeri also called for the expedition of the tabling of Establishment and Management of Markets Bill to ease the administration and supervision of markets; revenue collection and admission of vendors.
“I call for the tabling of the Establishment and Management of Markets Bill to enable us to manage the collection, allocation of revenue garnered from the vendors as well as the administration of the establishments like this market,” said Hon Yeri.
Previous reports from the market vendors have decried the high rates that are set to be levied on them pushing them to display their merchandise on the road or outside.
Tasked to explain the high market rates, the Tororo Municipality MP revealed that a remedial two months rent grace period will be accorded to the vendors.
“Vendors have been granted a 2-month grace-period of rent to allow the vendors to return to the market. We have also subsidized the rates to UGX25,000 and UGX50,000 for internal and outside stalls respectively,” said Hon. Yeri.
On the arrival of President Yoweri Museveni, Chairperson of the Tororo Market Vendors Association, Ms Aketch Stella thanked the government for prioritizing the construction of the modern market.
“We thank you, Mr. President, for construction of modern markets one of which is Tororo. The stalls will echo joy for the vendors as they return to operate gracefully,” said Aketch gracefully prostrating to Museveni while affirming the vendors’ commitment to vote NRM.
Akecho also asked Museveni to expeditiously look into the matter of the compensation of the market vendors that lost property and goods in a fire that razed the old market in May 2019 leaving them counting losses.
Vendors operating on the streets said that they want the market to be reopened soon to save them suffering of the sunshine and rain which destabilizes them while working from the streets.
Over 1000 vendors were evacuated from the market to pave way for the construction of the markets built under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme – MATIP. The new market will accommodate over 2000 vendors.
On another note, NRM electoral Commission Chairperson Dr Fred Tanga Odoi underscored the elevation of Tororo to city status – sending the delegation present in endorsement of the deliberation.
President Museveni urged the leaders of the vendors and delegates to emphasise the sensitization of the masses to grow their produce and selling some to generate income and saving a portion.
We have a problem of people focusing on only working for the stomach, we should encourage some savings to elevate standards of living in our household,” said Museveni.
Museveni also called for the utilization of Tororo Market by the people while maintaining the government infrastructure to stir growth of Tororo.