BY WALTER KUMIRA
GULU: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2021
Angry vendors in Gulu main market in Pece Laroo division in Gulu city have closed down the market as they protested alleged poor sanitation and abnormal charges.
They demanded immediate meeting with the Gulu division and City authorities to address their grievances.
These include hike in rental fees, poor sanitation, and Power inconsistency, inadequate water supply, lack of accessibility upstairs, and high taxes among others.
Gulu Main Market which has over 4,000 vendors was commissioned in 2015 and is among five markets constructed in the first phase of the market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program under the Ministry of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives.
A vendor only identified as Jacqueline who is a tailor in the market, says the corridors of the market which connect to the sewage line are filled with decomposing food remains and other waste putting their health at risk.
Another vendor, Nancy Agenorwoth, a dealer in ready made clothes, said she will be forced out of the market if city authorities fail to address the issues of poor sanitation and increase in rental fees.
Francis Akena, the chairperson of Lock-Ups vendors, said he is disappointed because the meeting was expected to discuss and find solutions to the above challenges faced by his members but did not take place.
Patrick Omaya, the chairperson of the market, said vendors have been facing a lot of challenges for quite long and no one bothers to listen and attend to their concerns yet they pay a lot of taxes.
He as a result of this negligence it’s now time to compel leaders to respond to their concerns through protests.
Andrew Ajore, the market master of the market, however, said he will forward the matter to the higher authority so that they come and meet the vendors.
He said each vendor operating in a lock-up shop has been charged to pay a monthly rent between sh100,000 to sh350,000 Shilling depending on the size of their merchandise up from between sh50,000 to sh250,000 previously and vendors operating in stalls have been told to pay sh40,000 monthly instead of the previous sh10,000.
Vendors say they want a return to the former rates of assessment.