For about five hours until midday on Wednesday, Kabeza market in Kanombe Sector, remained closed by Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) over tax arrears defaulted by Louis Aboyezantije, the owner of the market.
The modern complex hosts more than 1,000 vendors selling different commodities.
Aboyezantije, who is the market owner, had blocked all communications channels as authorities and journalists tried to contact him all morning.
He reportedly owes the taxman arrears amounting to 200 million francs.
Before the market opened in the afternoon, frustrated vendors had besieged the compound of the market, saying that their landlord did not warn them of an impending closure.
“We pay taxes to the owner but he does not remit hem to RRA. Even yesterday, vendors were paying him. We cannot be victims to a problem we are not part of. My fruits and vegetables are at risk. This morning, I purchased carrots, vegetables, tomatoes at over Rwf100,000 and I am afraid they will go bad,” said Eugénie Nyiraminani, one of the vendors.
Jeanne Mukaturatsinze, who recently abandoned street-vending to get a stall in the market few months ago, said she had purchased cassava leaves (isombe) but said her merchandise was going to go bad by afternoon.
However, by around midday, district officials intervened and offered to take up the matter with the proprietor, saying that they were doing so in the interest of the vendors and their clients since the closure had paralyzed business.