Business

UMEME DISCONNECTS GULU MAIN MARKET OVER SHS3.5M DEBT

By Christopher Nyeko

GULU: A thousand of Gulu city council tenants who are renting Gulu main market are finding it hard to operate in the market as UMEME has on Tuesday disconnected the power over an unpaid balance of shillings 3.5 million.

The darkness in the market has prevented many vendors whose operation relies on power. The most affected sites are second hand clothes sellers, vegetable sellers , tailors, barbers and saloons as their operation relies on power.

Some of these vendors who talked to ugreports expresses their disappointment to Gulu city council authority for failing to clear the bill of UMEME citing the disconnection of power has dragged them  accrued loses

Florence Lajara who sell vegetables in Gulu Main Market said their area is the darkest area when power is off so due to the darkness, customers are no longer accessing them hence she has incurred a loss of 5 million shillings.

Lajara revealed to ugreports that her water Mellon was stolen due to darkness and some have rotten down  because the number of the customers reaching  to her stall  have  lowered down.

Innocent Arach Lord who is the tailor and designer revealed that she was contracted to make the wedding gown worth 10,800 Shilling but she has failed to deliver it on date line agreed due to power disconnection.

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“I was expected to deliver the wedding gown today {Wednesday} but due to the power which was disconnected, today my customer came to me demanding for her clothes, nothing I can deliver because the work was incomplete then I ended up returning the deposited money,” she said.

Arach added that the number of the customers coming to buy materials have reduced because selecting   material requires broad daylight.

Vincent Onek who sells second hand  clothes revealed  to ugreports that  his sales have reduced from 300,000 shilling to 30,000 as people  have shunned  reaching  to his darkest stall.

As an alternative, Onek has bought Solar Battery worth 200,000 shillings to enable him light his stall but still customers are still not coming.

Christine Atim, another vendor  who also sells vegetables revealed that she is not selling from inside the market because of the darkness hence resorting to selling outside in the evening.

She revealed that the so called street goons and thieves are intensifying their criminal activities of stealing, robbing and attempted cases of rape on some of the vendor from the dark zone of the markets

As a way of fending at least for the family, these vendors have resorted to using light in their phone, torch and candles or selling from outside the market.

Gulu city council was on December 2021 during the council meeting resolve that they are going restructure the roofing of the Gulu Main Market so that the stalls in that area are visible and accessible due to the help of natural light during day time

Geoffrey Otim the Mayor of Laroo Pece Division  confirmed the disconnection of the power however he expresses his disappointed to the manager of  UMEME saying his regime have cleared over 40 million shilling which was unpaid by the then council.

Otim added that they have agreed to pay UMEME on a monthly basis and they have been abiding the memorandum of understanding adding that his council was preparing to pay the bill but was surprise hearing that the power was disconnected from the market

He however attributed  the delay in paying UMEME to delay in remittance from the consolidation fund  revealing that Gulu main Market is  currently generating through the IRAS system  over 35 million shilling on a monthly basis but they have not received any money.

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