TRADERS in Kayonza town are complaining over delays in the construction of a public market in the area, years after they were evicted from the old structures.
The traders were displaced in 2003, to pave way for the building of a modern market.
Talking to The New Times, they lamented they have been operating in appalling conditions and were counting losses ever since they were displaced.
“I am completely disillusioned. Some traders were taken to Gikaya, where they operate in the open, just as we are doing here. We have had several meetings with authorities promising us to finish up the market, but in vain,” said Jean Claude Nshimiyimana, a trader.
Vestine Murekatete, a businesswoman, said local authorities blamed contractors for the delays.
“Look at where we have been operating from since 2005. You can’t make profits in such an environment. Something is not going well here,” she complained.
When contacted, Fred Hategekimana Safari, the district director of finance, acknowledged the problem, adding that it was lamentable that the project previously meant for one year, has spent 7 years.
He explained that EDICO Enterprise of Kibungo Diocese, which was contracted to build the market, never lived to its expectations, and hence delayed the completion of the market.
Safari, however, said the district authorities are doing their best to complete the 2nd phase of the construction, for the benefit of the community. The district expects to collect a lot of revenue when the market is complete, he said.
“I don’t want to go into the bad history of the market contract…the blame is both on the district and the diocese. We, for instance, have to pay the enterprise only through FINA BANK, because the Diocese has unpaid debts in all other banks”.
The irony in the whole saga is that Kibungo Diocese that is in charge constructing the market, is itself in serious financial crisis with over Rwf 1 billion bad debt.