Traders Shun Hoima Central Market Lockups

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In short
Only 56 out of the available 156 lockups in the market are occupied. The vacant lockups are mostly on the first floor of the storied facility built under the Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Project MATIP. The 11 billion Shillings project was funded by the African Development Bank -ADB.

Most lockups at the refurbished Hoima central market remain unoccupied almost two years after its completion and the controversial relocation of vendors to the modern facility.

Only 56 out of the available 156 lockups in the market are occupied.  The vacant lockups are mostly on the first floor of the storied facility built under the Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Project - MATIP. The 11 billion Shillings project was funded by the African Development Bank -ADB.

Market Master Jonan Yoweri Museveni explains that the lockups were allocated to individuals who occupied the market prior to its refurbishment. For unknown reasons however, the individuals have not repossessed them, he adds.

Hoima market lockup owners are charged payments ranging between 2 million and 2.5 million Shillings annually. Uganda Radio Network has however learnt that a number of the indigenous owners declined to take lockups on the first floor of the market which they say is less accessible to customers.

Museveni says they are awaiting a council directive on the vacant lockups.
 
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Museveni explains that unoccupied space, not only results to revenue loss to council but also makes it difficult for them to maintain the market facility.
 
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Despite the existence of vacant lockups in the central market, a number of vendors are still operating from the streets. Many claim they are small scale vendors and cannot afford the high rent fees at the market facility.

Grace Ikiriza, a saloon operator at one of the Lockups says the income by lockup owners is too little compared to the expenses incurred in managing the places.

Hoima town Mayor Grace Mary Mugasa says the Municipality will engage the market vendors to ensure that the available space is utilized.