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Mpondwe Fish Traders Complain Of Slow Business

The business community at the Mpondwe border post in Kasese District are continuing to decry the low fish business despite the construction of the multi billion Mpondwe market.

The decline of the fish business is largely attributed to the continued operations of a competitive market across the border in DR Congo.

The market in Lubhiriha was established by Congolese traders after Uganda closed the open markets as a measure to contain the outbreak of COVID-19. Uganda government opened the Mpondwe border market in November 2021 after two years of closer.

However, majority of the buyers from DR Congo no longer cross to Mpondwe since they already have a fish market on their side.  Henry Bwambale, the the chairperson of the business community in Mpondwe say that since the introduction of a competitive market a cross the border many local small and medium fish traders have rain out of business.

Until Uganda and DR Congo leadership discuss how the two markets can operate for the benefit of all traders on both sides, Bwambale notes that Uganda traders and other indirect beneficiaries of the fish business are gradually getting out of work.

Mapoze Sylvester, the  Mayor Mpondwe Lhubiriha town council, says the town council is failing to hit its projected revenue collection because of the slow business. He noted that there is an urgent need to regulate the fish business and help the domestic market also thrive.

Moses Alinda, a fish trader says that because of the better prices across the border, even when the Mpondwe fish market re-opened in 2021, the traders continued crossing to cross to DR Congo.

However, e faults the Uganda government of taking long to open cross-border whenever other countries relaxed restrictions. Something which he says give the Congolese an opportunity to open a competitive market across the border.

Rebeca Kadaga, the Minister for East African Community Affairs who has visited the market promised that both governments would soon present these concerns and arrive at the best possible position to help traders benefit from the market facility.

-URN

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