Traders in the main market of Musanze district in the Northern Province are relocating to a nearby taxi park to pave way for renovation works that will turn the market into a modern structure worth Rwf6 billion.
Raymond Niyonzima, who leads KODUKUMU cooperative which comprises more than 100 business owners in Musanze, said the co-op has commissioned the market’s construction for a three-year period.
The new market will have four floors for its front building and three floors in the backside, hosting 1,000 stands for different businesses.
“Its construction will kick off in March. We have discussed with district officials and business owners in the old market and we agreed they will have relocated by February 20,” Niyonzima said.
Traders are relocating to Musanze Taxi Park which is managed by Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperative (RFTC).
RFTC officials told The New Times that they have space to host some business people and would also build more hangars to host more traders.
The former market had remained undeveloped with poor infrastructure, a contradiction for the progressive design and vision of Musanze town, officials said.
Business people expressed excitement because they are going to get a modern market but also have worries that RFTC is charging exorbitant rent fees per month. RFTC charges Rwf30,000 –Rwf45,000 for space inside and Rwf10,000 - Rwf15,000 outside the building.
Felix Nkurunziza, who sells cosmetics and cloth, said monthly rent fees at the new place are high. “The problem is not relocation but the high fees we were charged. We will be paying Rwf 15,000 more than we are paying here. We will also need more time to get used to the place and inform our clients,” he said.
Nonetheless, Peter Rugerinyanye, the president of business people in Musanze market, said they are ready to relocate. “We are ready to relocate; we will have moved by February 20 and we will start operations after 10 days because we will have to make some preparations such as paying rent fees at the new place with RFTC building,” he said.
But RFTC officials said that fixing the fees was done in agreement with both business owners and district officials.