Foodstuff street vendors at Duhaga Roundabout in Hoima City are not pleased at the newly secured market place where the authorities plan to reposition them citing the small size of the land and poor location that can hardly be accessed by buyers.
Located along Magezi Road behind Cultural Lodge in West Division, the sellers say the new market place is so hidden geographically that it will seldom be identified by buyers from places beyond Hoima except the few who are familiar with the city and those who will be aware of its existence especially within the precincts of Hoima.
The crestfallen vendors who were more than eight months ago relocated to the street from the former Duhaga Roundabout market that was secured for a bigger investment, feel downtrodden after being rumoured that the authorities rented the land for a period of only one year that they say will keep them as vagabonds, thus, affecting their commercial transactions and income.
Ms Jenifer Kimuli, one of the vendors, says the new marketplace does not have direct access for buyers and that it can only be identified by those well versed with the Hoima town on information about its location.
She wants the authorities to relocate them to a permanent place instead of renting the area for a short period of time saying this will not enable them to stabilise in their business.
“The new piece of land the authorities have rented for the market is totally in a hidden topographical area and rented for a short period of only one year yet the authorities said they will relocate us when they get us a permanent place from where to operate,” she says.
Mr William Musinguzi, the Chairman of Duhaga Roundabout Foodstuff Street Vendors, says the newly identified place is unfit for a market due to having a single road leading to the area to enable one to access it.
He also says it would be more meaningful if the authorities rented the land on which the market will sit for at least 45 years expressing dismay that frequent shifts make them operate at a loss since their foodstuffs and paraphernalia get spoilt and melt down respectively.
However, the Mayor of West Division, Mr Robert Ruhiigwa Kyomuhendo, quashes rumours that the area was rented for one year; saying on the contrary, the authorities rented it for five years under the private public agreement.
Ms Sylvia Nalumaga, the Deputy Mayor for Hoima Oil City, affirms Mr Komuhendo’s assertion allaying fears that the piece of land for the market was rented for a short period.
She says there is no need to worry as the city authorities have laid a long term strategy with the land owners.
However, the deputy mayor says it is incumbent upon those refusing to shift to the market that will be occupied in May 2023 to look for better places of their choice but off the gateway to the Bunyoro Kitara Church of Uganda (Anglican) Diocesan Headquarters.