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Arua Main Market: City leaders start hearing space complaints

By Everest Mukiibi 

Arua Main Market Appeals Committee has started hearing complaints of more than 500 vendors who were left out during the allocation of space at the newly constructed market.

The committee that is sitting at Arua central division headquarters has been given a month to address the complaints of the vendors before presenting their findings to the city town clerk for action.

Last week, the vendors mostly dealing in produce and general merchandise stormed the office of the city town clerk and demanded fresh allocation of spaces in the new market.

This move forced the office of the Town clerk to establish the committee which among other things, is expected to make a report that will guide the new allocation committee that is expected to oversee the allocation of the remaining 700 spaces in the market.

The appeals committee is being headed by Isaac Mwanje, the Central Division Town Clerk.

Other members are Zubeda Shida Olekua, the assistant central division town clerk, Nelson Dada who is the chairman general of Arua Main Market Vendors Association, and an official from the Ministry of Local Government.

Arua City Town Clerk, Paul Batanda says that the appeals committee derives its mandate from the market allocation guidelines that were issued by the ministry of local government. He further notes that whoever will not be satisfied with the outcome of the appeals committee has a right to appeal.

However, some of the affected vendors have asked the committee to expedite the process of addressing their grievances. They argue that they are under pressure from financial institutions to pay back loans that they acquired to support their businesses.

Ruth Draru, one of the affected vendors says sustaining the welfare of her family has become difficult after missing out on space in the new market.

Ratibu Amaku another aggrieved vendor hopes that the new allocation committee will not repeat the same mistakes.

According to the vendors, the market allocation exercise was marred with corruption that made some vendors get more than two spaces in the new market.

The spaces in the new market were allocated more than a month ago, by the Arua City New Market Allocation Committee together with officials from the Ministry of Local government.

Arua Main Market was constructed under the second phase of the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Project (MATIP) and funded by the African Development Bank.

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