Government launches construction of Mutukula regional market

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The government announced the construction works of the regional market of Mutukula, a project which had not started for two years.

The project had started in 2020, but stalled for a few months when the Covid-19 hit the country.

During the inauguration ceremony last week, Mrs. Rebecca Kadaga, 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs, said the market will include 100 shelters, 1,000 warehouses, a five-star hotel, a hospital, a daycare center, six gas stations, lodges, among other facilities.

“The people of Kyotera, especially the Mutukula City Council, should prepare to provide the workers who are going to build the market with basic things like food and building materials so that they also directly benefit from the project,” said Ms. Kadaga.

She pledged to open an investigation into the eviction of residents of Kabira, Kasasa, Kakuuto, Kyebe and Mutukula Town Council sub-counties.

“I think the president has received bad information and I need to inform him. How can an oil palm project occupy land in five sub-counties when there are people living there?” she wondered.

Mr Karim Karamagi, Managing Director of Rural United Small Business Association Network (RUSBA), said the project is expected to cost more than Shs 1 trillion.

“We have various backers who will invest in this regional market, but we expect over 1 trillion shillings to be utilized when completed,” he said.

Mr. Karamagi said markets such as Kapenguria, Makutano, Kacheliba and Looro market in Kenya, Ariwara market in Congo and Bunazi in Tanzania should work closely with the regional Mutukula market.

Ahead of the launch, soldiers prevented organizers from erecting tents at the Mutukula town council Kasanvu cell site, insisting the proposed market will encroach on Sango Bay Estate land, where the government plans to set up an oil palm project.

They confiscated the chairs and tents and ordered officials from the Mutukula regional market to leave.

After being refused a place in Kasanvu cell, the organizers asked the management of the adjacent primary school in Mutukula, who gave them the green light to organize the event.

Mr. David Mujaasi, Chairman of Mutukula Town Council, said the army insists that the land on which the market is to be built is part of the Sango Bay estate.

The Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, Mr. Vincent Ssempijja, however, dismissed claims that soldiers prevented dignitaries from accessing the proposed venue, insisting that it was a problem of “disinformation”.

“It was not intentional that the soldiers denied us access to the site as it is claimed. It was only that they did not know about the investment in the regional market and its future importance. The regional market has already been blessed by the government and we want it to be built for the residents to benefit,” he said.

The market, which is being built in Kasanvu village on the Kyotera-Mutukula road, will bring together manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and consumers from across the East African region.

It will operate every Tuesday and Friday and will have a livestock yard, where animals such as sheep, goats and cattle will be kept temporarily for slaughter and sale in local and international markets.

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