By Nathan Eyagu
Market vendors in Soroti city have started moving into the new multibillion market after a long duration of time.
The vendors who were led by different market section representatives were left joyous and excited as they carried their goods inside the new market.
The ongoing exercise that started on the 05th Tuesday and continues till 07th Thursday also left several vendors left out after they failed to acquire market stalls and lock-ups.
Rose Amwano an elderly vendor who has spent more than ten years selling food-stuff in the market cried out to the people who were around her after she was told to vacate the stall that she was in.
"Am I not a person, why would you want to kick me out of the stall I chose to be in, I also have a family to feed please let me be," she said as she wept in front of the public.
A section of women who sell fresh fruits also cried out after they were asked to move to the rooftop a location they described as not being good since customers cant easily access them and also open without any roof.
"What am I going to do, I have lost the space I was given at first, I spent the whole day moving around the market my kid hasn't eaten too and I have a big family, these people are unfair" one other woman cried out
Damali Asekenye the project support officer of the market project told media that the exercise was moving on well as they have so far managed to settle about 1,350 vendors as they started on Tuesday 05th with sections of fresh foods, dry fish, chicken and butcheries and continued with other sections and will end on Thursday 07 With all the vendors entering into the spaces allocated to them.
"The market is going to accommodate about 1,752 vendors, we haven't recorded any serious issues yet except for one old lady who got two stalls on the upper floor on the side of produce B but she, later on, moved down to fresh foods stall and put up her things on someone else's stall but after we tried to ask her for her document, she ended up complaining seriously but as we talk now everything is good as the process was transparent as people chose numbers randomly as per that given section and the number one picks is the lockup that person goes to" she explained
She also denied claims of bribery in her office as she is the overall head of the exercise and rumors that Indians were also allocated spaces in the market.
The market took about 23 billion Uganda shillings loan got from the African development bank through the ministry of local government under the MAPTIP 2 program where the vendors will be charged after two months after an evaluation of the business that one is doing and the money paid to one bank account that will be given out by the city council.