Over 300 butchers in Jinja are in tears as the power outage in Jinja central market enters its third week.
Speaking to URN on Thursday, the butchers said that they lose
about 150kgs of beef daily which is estimated to have cost them over 25 Million
Shillings in the past two weeks as over 2,000 kgs went to waste.
They say that, since their sales are unstable and they lack
clear statistics on the amount of meat consumed daily, butchers often receive surplus meat from their suppliers and the excess meat requires constant refrigeration
to keep it fresh. However, due to lack of stable power supply, such meat is left to rot
Amina Tibilwa, a beef dealer says that, they often make big
sales during evening hours, however, due to the current state of darkness,
potential buyers have since shunned the market, leaving their meat to rot away.
//cue in: “ekizibu…
Cue out…bajja baiba,”.//
Ismael Mutabazi, a goats’ meat dealer says that, each
butcher pays 40,000 Shillings to cater for electricity bills on a monthly basis, but they have been treated to frequent power outages which have continuously landed
them in loses, yet city authorities have not bothered to explain the anomalies.If it is true that butchers pay 40,000 each per month for power, then 300 of them raise 12,000,000 for electricity in one month, three times the outstanding bill that led to disconnection.
//cue in: “amasanyalaze…
Cue out…evunda,”. //
Majid Mpoya, a butcher says that, most of them survive on bank
loans to keep their businesses afloat however, with the current loses accruing on a daily basis, they have failing to raise the various amounts in interest required to service their credit facilities.
//cue in: “enyama eyo…
Ronald Byarugaba, another butcher says that city
authorities should devise other means of ensuring constant power supply in the
meat department by installing solar powered refrigerators, which will minimize
on the loses encountered during the endless power outages.
//cue in: “we are lacking…
Cue out…the solar system,”.//
Henry Mugimba, the Jinja central market vendors’ chairperson
says that, the market is yet to clear off the four Million Shillings power bill
owed to UMEME which prompted the power disconnection.
Meanwhile, Jinja city’s spokesperson, Rajab Kiito says that,
the current tax collection system where all local revenues are directly
remitted to the Uganda Revenue Authority-URA account, has left them without the
funds required to clear off utility bills for all the city’s public
facilities in time.
Kiito further says that, they have since written to all the
utility providers, alerting them to exercise some form of leniency, since the
current system only favors them to payoff bills on a quarterly basis.