HOIMA – Vendors operating in Hoima Modern Central Market in Hoima East Division, Hoima City have elected new leaders to manage their affairs in the facility after one year of waiting.
Those elected are Ayesiga Julius who was elected Chairperson, deputized by Tibaijuka Geoffrey. Asaba Florence was elected the Treasurer and Ayesiga beat Kasangaki Haruna with 160 votes to 140 votes.
Kunihira Eva and Mbabazi Sylvia are women representatives on the committee among others.
The election which was held on Friday at Hoima Central Market Community Hall was conducted by the Hoima Electoral Commission and supervised by Hoima City Commercial Officer Ayesiga Alice.
The vendors explained that they were supposed to have new management in 2020 but the election was interrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown.
Ayesiga commended the vendors for electing their leaders and called on the new leaders to mobilize vendors operating in the market and form a Saving and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO).
The Hoima Modern Central Market has more than 800 registered vendors.
She noted the vendors in the market are in different associations adding that such associations cannot push them anywhere.
She also asked the new board to work towards formation of a SACCO, which will help them have a united voice to advocate for their rights.
She added that through the formation of a SACCO, the vendors will be able to lobby for support from the government.
Magezi Idi, the Chairperson for Production for Hoima Oil City Council, challenged the new leaders to mobilize and work together with city leaders to get a way of removing vendors operating on streets.
He noted that several vendors are abandoning the market because customers are buying from the streets.
The Shs 11 billion market project which was constructed with funding from African Development Bank (ADB) has about 100 lockups occupied out of the available 180.
“When you move on different streets of the city, you find several vendors selling tomatoes, clothes and other food stuffs, yet we have empty stalls, there is a need to get a way of removing them from the street back to the market facility” he challenged the new leaders.
However, elected Chairperson Ayesiga commended the vendors for their trust and promised to work with vendors to ensure security and sanitation in the markets.
He explained that the issue of security and sanitation in the facility is still a big challenge which needs to be addressed.
He also promised to work with the city leaders to get a way of addressing the challenge of street vending, adding the growing number of street vendors is under cutting their colleagues inside the market.
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