The newly built Mbarara Central Market
Roko Construction Limited has delivered again. After the recent handing over of Raxio Data Center in Namanve, ERA House (Electricity Regulatory Authority new HQ), IRA HQ (Insurance Regulatory Authority) in Kampala and BIT (Busoga Institute of Technology) in Jinja ROKO handed over Mbarara Central Market to Mbarara City Authority after the completion of construction works.
The government awarded Roko Construction Limited the contract to reconstruct Mbarara Central Market in 2018 at a cost of 21.11 billion shillings under The Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Project (MATIP) with funding from African Development Bank.
The market located in the middle of Mbarara City along Bishop Wills and Mbaguta streets has about 485 shelters for vendors’ stalls, a police post, a children’s care centre, an office block, and water harvesting tanks among other facilities.
The market that had its groundbreaking in 2018 was meant to be completed in 2020. However, because of challenges related to COVID 19, three more contract extensions were granted to the contractor to complete the work.
Danison Blas, the Contracts Manager Roko Construction Ltd says the outbreak of COVID-19 affected the importation of some materials from abroad and also the financial difficulties that came with the COVID outbreak all contributed to the delay in completing the work in time. Mr. Blas also thanked his team led by the Project Manager Stewart Kasibante for a job well done.
Eng. Emmanuel Mwebaze, the project manager said that Mbarara market is the best in quality out of all markets awarded under MATIP: “ROKO has delivered to the quality standards they have been known for the last 50 years”.
Geoffrey JJ Ettedu, Assistant Commissioner and National Programs Manager MATIP, Ministry of Local Government said that the market is strictly for the vendors and other low-income earners warning political leaders and other business people against rushing to get lockups. He asked the city authorities to strictly follow the list of vendors that were relocated before the reconstruction.
Asse Babirebe Tumwesigire, the City Clerk said the vendors should be in the know that using the facility will not be for free after allocation noting that the vendors will be tasked with paying a monthly fee that will be used to maintain the sanitation and hygiene of the place.
Nyombi Mohammed, the chairman of the vendors asked the Ministry of Local Government and the city authorities not to rush to re-allocate the vendors without a right and proper procedure.