By Moses Alinda
ARUA: Vendors operating in Owino Market in Arua City have vowed not to leave the market, they say they have no space in the newly built central market.
This follows the recent meeting where the vendors in the new market demanded the Arua City authorities to close the private markets within Arua Central Division and also demolish Owino market in Lobida.
Through their chairperson Habib Govule, the vendors say the city authorities should go and demolish the social centre market since it is the one the government temporarily relocated them to and have resolved to drag Arua city to court in case they demolish their market.
‘’Should they attempt to demolish the market, we shall drag them to court. They should demolish the social centre market since it is the one the government temporarily relocated vendors,’’ they said.
On Tuesday Arua city leaders had a closed door meeting at Arua Central Division headquarters in River Oli where, according to reliable sources, they agreed to demolish Owino market.
The vendors say they have nowhere to go and they are accusing some of the political leaders for sabotage.
Anvico Gloria, a vendor in the market, says if the problem in the new market is payment of the loan, the authorities should divide the money among the vendors including those in the private markets so that they can continue operating in the market where they are.
Ndemaga Robert the vice secretary Owino market says what is causing the challenge is that some leaders took contracts of some facilities like toilets and the number of people using them is small which is causing them anger to fight for the demolition of the market.
‘’The planning the leaders used in the market cannot favour the vendors and it’s high time they revise it,’’ said Michael Onzima, a vendor at Owino Market.
On Monday Wadri Sam Nyakua the Mayor Arua City said the issues surrounding the market are being sabotaged by politicians within the city and promised to inform the ministry about the development.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Muzaid Khemis the Mayor Arua Central Division distanced himself from the saga surrounding Arua Central Main Market
Muzaid said he was not among the allocation committee and the mess was done by the chairperson allocation committee and the team.
Owino Market has been in operation for the last 5 years
In February this year, more than 500 registered vendors in Arua demanded fresh allocation of Stalls and Lock-ups in the new Multi-billion market.
The vendors who were in possession of Memorandum of Understanding with Arua City Council and Ministry of Local Government claimed that they were left out during the time the spaces were allocated.
In January Arua City New Market allocation committee members together with officials from the Ministry of Local government allocated spaces to over 5000 Vendors through use of Raffle Cards leaving out over 500.
This called for a protest meeting where the aggrieved vendors demanded for immediate allocation of their spaces in the new market lest they demonstrate.
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