By Aggrey Twesigye
The continued delay in the completion of Mbarara Central market has slapped a loss of about 600 million shillings on Mbarara city council for the financial year 2020/21.
The 21 billion shillings project of the Mbarara Central market which is estimated to accommodate 1000 vendors commenced in Feb.2018 and was expected to be complete by January 2020.
However, the market which was contracted by ROKO Construction Company has so far suffered three setbacks since they failed to deliver on the original date of February 2020.
The minister of local government recently gave ROKO construction a period of up to May 2021 to produce complete work or else they face termination of their contract.
Now, the Mbarara City Council Deputy Clerk, Richard Mugisha, says the city has lost a lot of money from taxes and rent which would have helped to develop the city.
He says that because of the unfriendly conditions at the independence park where vendors currently operate from, council had suspended the daily taxing of the vendors.
“You know the market was owned by the council and We were getting a lot of money from vendors for example we used to collect more than 500 million from rent every year in addition to daily dues that would bring about 100 ugx annually,”Mugisha noted.
Mugisha says the city local revenue has decreased from 8 billion shillings to around 6.9 billion shillings since all sources that surrounded the central market like Taxi/Bus park used to feed to and from the market.
Apart from the rent and taxes, Mugisha says that the delayed completion of the market has failed another project under Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) projects menu to design and beautify the independence park.
He added that there is no way the independence park can be worked on since it is still occupied by the vendors.
Nyombi Muhammad, the chairperson of Mbarara Central Market Vendors Association says they have also lost a lot in their business since customers have dwindled with time.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website