The team led by the Aringa North County MP, Godfrey Onzima on Wednesday noted that there were several irregularities in the market that needed reorganization to save a multi-billion facility from ruin.
Members of Parliament on the Local Government
and Public Service Committee have tasked Soroti City management to conduct fresh
allocation of lockups and stalls in the newly constructed main market.
The team led by the Aringa North County MP, Godfrey Onzima on
Wednesday noted that there were several irregularities in the market that
needed reorganization to save a multi-billion facility from ruin.
According to Onzima, some politicians hijacked the process
by allocating themselves lockups in the market while some vendors took up more spaces in market, limiting space for other vendors. He explains that the
process in the market allocation was flouted, something that has angered
some vendors who have threatened to set ablaze the new market.
//cue in: We received…
Cue out…not followed.”//
Onzima adds that the accounting officer, who should have
supervised the exercise in the allocation of lockups claims that he found the process already
meddled by the time he assumed office. Reports indicate that some vendors
forcefully occupied the market after breaking into the stalls and lockups that
were under verification by the city authorities.
//Cue in: The vendors…
Cue out…in the market.”//
Since the commissioning of Soroti Market by President Yoweri Kaguta
Museveni in November, 2020, Soroti city management has failed to resolve the
issue of space allocations that kept the market locked up for close to one year.
When the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Rose Lilly
Akello visited the city recently, she was informed of an audit report on
allocation of lockups which was ready and would address the matter. But the
report has not been made available to the public to-date.
The visit by the MPs on the committee to Soroti was informed by the concerns raised by Soroti City
Woman MP, Joan Alobo when she interacted with vendors recently. The MP, who was
initially denied entry to the market is reported to have written to the
committee to investigate the alleged mismanagement of lock-ups in the new
An investigative report by the former Soroti Resident City
Commissioner, Robert Adiama revealed that the allocations of lockups in the
market was marred with bribery among other things.
The Shillings 24 billion Soroti market was constructed with
funding from the African Development Bank. More than 2,000 vendors are
currently occupying space and running business in the facility.