GICUMBI – Traders in Byumba Market, Gicumbi District, say they have been incurring heavy losses ever since electric power was disconnected two months ago.
Traders interviewed by The New Times over the weekend said that the energy and water utility, (RECO-RWASCO), disconnected power due to outstanding bills.
The traders accused the local district authorities for failing to clear the pending bills, yet they pay monthly rent that covers their power consumption.
“We pay Rwf10,000 for each stall upstairs and Rwf20 000 for the down stairs stalls to the district every month, yet the district authorities have failed to clear the power bills which is dealing a heavy blow to our businesses,” said Leonard Biraro, who runs hair salons at the market.
Traders in this market dealing in foodstuffs and other perishables have not been spared the inconvenience of operating without power within the market.
“Due to the power cuts, we have been forced to close down business as early as 5.00 pm because we cannot operate our business in darkness,” said one trader only identified as Nyirasafari.
Byumba RECO-RWASCO station manager, Gilbert Rubayita, confirmed that Gicumbi District has not cleared electricity bills for the last two years.
“We cannot operate in losses like this, as our company needs funds to run its day-to-day activities,” he said.
When contacted, the District Executive Secretary, Sinese Museveni, acknowledged the problem, but said the district would soon sort out the problem.
“The electricity bills date back to two years ago, that is why we have to take time to verify the billing before effecting payment,” said Museveni.