GICUMBI – Congolese Refugees in Gihembe Refugee Camp located in Kageyo Sector, have continued to transact business by the roadside despite calls to move to a authorized local market.
The Refugees sell their food rations to neighboring local residents, which range from rice, cooking oil and maize flour in order to buy other foodstuffs or items not provided to them at the camp.
The local residents in turn sell fresh vegetables, tomatoes and cassava flour to the refugees.
In an interview with Business Times, at Ruyaga trading center which overlooks Gihembe Refugee camp, most refugees admitted preferring to carry out business along the narrow road leading to their camp as a way of evading market taxes.
“We have no money to pay for taxes at Byumba or Muhondo market because we are refugees, which is why we prefer to carry out our businesses along this narrow road”, said Theresa Uwase, one of the refugees.
Kageyo Sector Executive Secretary Pierre Damien Sharangabo said local residents neighboring Gihembe Refugee camp have been advised to carry out their businesses at Muhondo market, but some have adamantly refused to adhere to the directive.
“We constructed a new market at Muhondo trading center for these people, yet some continue to carry out their businesses along the road” said Sharangabo.
He further promised to enforce the directive through the assistance of the area Mudugudu leaders.
A representative of the Ministry of Local Government at Gihembe Refugee camp Mark Shakagabo said the Refugees have their own market at the camp and only go out to buy foodstuffs not donated to them by World Food Program (WFP).