NGOMA – Months after the commissioning of a new multi-million modern public market in Ngoma District, several stalls remain unoccupied.
The business community in the area say that they were scared away by exorbitant rent. Miriam Mukamurenzi, a businesswoman in Kibungo town, said that shops of the same size are cheaper than those in the market.
She said that the district authorities should have considered the reality on the ground before hiking the rent.
“There have been inconsistent and irrational rent charges per room; Initially it was Rwf120, 000 and later dropped to Rwf80, 000. All these don’t match the local standards,” she said.
Mukamurenzi, proposed the charges should be brought down to Rwf60,000. Juliet Uwineza, one of the few tenants at the market, however, said their restaurant business was comfortably making profit.
“We buy food cheaply, charge little for meals and offer market to farmers. Our relationship is superb, and we are making profits despite the high rent,” she said.
Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, Gerald Muzungu, the District Executive Secretary, decried the redundancy of the market, citing an urgent need for a compromise between the district and traders.
“The old market was a little bit disorderly. We look forward to having this new one fully occupied,” he said.
The magnificent glass-made structure, typical of a modern shopping mall, was built at a cost of over Rwf800 million.
It is expected to be privatized to a competent company to manage it on behalf of the district, according to authorities.