Kalerwe Markets Get Facelift As Vendors Push for Re-opening

Saidi Waiswa, the Chairman Freedom Market, says they have invested about six million to paint offices and stalls and put up more shelters.
New Look of Muluya Market at Kalerwe

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There is an ongoing improvement in the Markets at Kalerwe pending reopening by Kampala Capital City Authority KCCA. There are over ten markets at Kalerwe including Kajubi, Bivamuntuuyo, Freedom, Farmers, Ssemuguwa and Muluya Market among others.  

They host over 1000 vendors. On April 03rd,  the Kampala Affairs Minister, Betty Amongi ordered the closure of the markets for failure to maintain the four meter physical distancing as directed by the president to control the spread of the deadly Corona Virus. 

Vendors were given two days to organise themselves before the markets are reopened. The vendors immediately started cleaning and spacing their stalls. On April 9th, a team of KCCA officials led by the Executive Director, Eng. Andrew Kitaka inspected the market and said it was still disorganised.

The vendors have now accelerated their efforts to improve their stalls and reduced the number of stalls by more than half. Others that previously used umbrellas have put up proper shelter comprising iron sheets and timber pillars. Saidi Waiswa, the Chairman Freedom Market, says they have invested about six million to paint offices and stalls and put up more shelters. 

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Bivamuntuuyo Market has painted all its stalls and cleaned the cemented floor. Our reporter visited the market on Thursday Morning and found the vendors painting shelters for chicken. James Kaana, one of the market leaders, said they are now ready to resume work, adding that vendors will now operate in shifts.   

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Muluya Market has also reduced the number of stalls and covered the remaining ones with carpets. These were however still arranging stalls and removing the remaining garbage from the market. Nevertheless some of the markets are yet to re-arrange their stalls, something that some of their colleagues are unhappy about. These include Ssemuguwa, Farmers Hill and Ssennoga Markets.

One angry market leader said  "Today I don't want to talk to you. We are frustrated. They were supposed to open the markets tomorrow (Friday) but some of our colleagues are just starting work. Now like Mugisha, he told the KCCA officials today that for him he is doing his things and he should be left alone. KCCA knows this as one market and they cannot open before all of us are ready."

Another vendor condemned a one Mugisha said to be the Chairman of Ssemuguwa Market for being arrogant and delaying works. URN visited Ssemuguwa Market and found vendors putting up shelters and constructing new stalls as others were being covered with carpets. 

At Farmers Hill they were casting concrete on the floor. Robert Lukwago from Ssemuguwa says they were delayed by boundary issues with their neighbors and KCCA.


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KCCA is expected to inspect the markets on Monday and decide whether to reopen them or not.  

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