The newly built Soroti Central Modern Market in Soroti City is yet to commence operations more than two months after it was commissioned by President, Yoweri Museveni. Museveni took time off his busy campaign schedule on November 22, 2020, to commission the Shillings 24 billion market funded by the African Development Bank-ADB.
During the commissioning of the market, the Soroti City Clerk, Soroti City Clerk Moses Otimong, said it would start operating within two weeks’ time. He said once fully occupied the market, will contribute Shillings 780 million for Soroti City annually, compared to Shillings 30 million Soroti Municipality was collecting from the market monthly.
Despite this, the market is yet to start its operations. The city authorities blame the delayed operationalisation of the market to the election campaign period, which disorganized most of the activities geared towards its functionality. He says campaigns disorganised their preparations to open the market. He, however, says they have so far verified 2,446 vendors and remaining with 1,316 vendors.
According to Otimong, the city authorities and local Government ministry are working together for the smooth return of vendors to the new market. He says the vendor’s verification, training and reallocation of spaces and issuance of letters among other activities will take a month before the vendors enter the market in March.
Built by Techno Three Uganda Limited, the new market comprises stalls, CCTV cameras linked to Soroti Central Police Station, butcheries, chicken cages, cold rooms, service centers, pharmacies and financial institutions. The market will also have prayer rooms, restaurants, daycare facilities, meeting rooms, and a Police Post.
The Local Government Minister, Raphael Magyezi, says the modern market will be a game-changer not only in Soroti but the region at large in terms of creating jobs for people. He says with over 1300 lockups and stalls; the market has the capacity to employ over 5000 people directly and indirectly.
President, Museveni also commissioned new markets in Kasese, Tororo and Busia municipalities among others in his recent campaign tour across the country.