Shoppers flocked the markets yesterday ahead of Christmas Day, leaving food traders happy.
When The New Times visited major markets in Kigali, including Kimironko Market, Nyarugenge Market at the Central Abattoir in Nyabugogo, the traders reported an increase in traffic.
Among the products that were selling like hot cake, was beef and Irish potatoes, traders said.
By 12 p.m., the City Abattoir was already short of meat with most workers lying idle after they had sold-off their stock.
“The beef we purchased for retailing is now sold out. Even the abattoir from where we had purchased the meat is out of stock. I have very little remaining,” said Moise Hakizimana the owner of Chicken Halali, a meat retailer inside Nyarugenge City Market.
Hakizimana added that due to the increasing demand, the prices of beef have gone up.
“Here, meat dealers are selling a kilo of beef at Rwf3,200 up from Rwf2, 800 for the fillet and the regular cut is being sold at Rwf2,500 up from Rwf2, 300,” he added.
Prices of other meats like Fish and Chicken have remained the same.
Due to the increased demand, Hakizimana told The New Timesthat his sales have tripled, selling between 300 and 400 kgs on Monday. On regular days he sells about 100 kgs.
One shopper, Christian Munyampundu, a resident from Muhima sector said he bought 7kgs of beef to celebrate his child’s baptism which will take place on Christmas.
He, however, added that he was lucky to get the meat as it was almost finished and had to settle for lesser quality.
Need of chips attracts potatoes buyers
Mariamu Mukansanga, an Irish potato dealer in Kimironko market said she has got an increase of shoppers especially those looking for the Kinigi variety – that is known for making tasty French fries commonly known as chips.
“The shopping of Irish Potatoes especially Kinigi variety is better compared to other days. Clients tell us they need potatoes to make French fries” Mukansanga said, adding that her sales have doubled over the last couple of days.
“I normally sell 100kgs, on the last two days I have sold 200 kgs per day,” she added.
While the spending spree is expected to last up to the new year, some traders are still hoping for more clients especially dealers in kids toys and clothes who told The New Times that this festive season was not as busy as previous ones.
Upcountry busses overwhelmed
While owners of transport business services are happy with generating more revenues on Monday before Christmas day, passengers were stranded as there were not enough busses.
The New Times visited the bust park at 1:00 PM and it was full of passengers, seek to buy tickets to go to upcountry for the festive season celebration.
“I am going to Gakenke district. I have been here for two hours but I am only managed t0 get a bus that departs at 6:00 p.m.,” lamented Japhet Rugira, a father who was taking his two kids upcountry on Fidelity Express.
The passengers who were also using Alpha Express to Huye and Rusizi district were also being provided tickets to depart from 4:00 p.m., which they say frustrated them despite having arrived earlier.