HUYE — The Huye District authorities in partnership with business persons working in the busy Kiwarabu commercial section have agreed on a plan to set up a modern commercial centre in the area.
According to the new plan, the Butare central market is set to be demolished and it is to be replaced with a modern shopping complex.
The new structure will be set up by Ngenzi Cooperative Society made up of mainly business persons operating in the town.
According to Leopold Mubere the Cooperative’s President, construction work is set to begin next month, though he could not reveal the capital outlay of the project.
The district Mayor Aimable Twagiramutara, says the building of the modern shopping complex is in line with the district’s programme of modernising the town through setting up modern infrastructure.
‘We are drawing a new master plan for the town. However, key areas like the business district will not wait. We have agreed on building standards with real estate stakeholders which will be effected this year’, said Twagiramutara.
With regard to expropriation, the Mayor explained that traders dealing in foodstuffs will be allocated a special section in the new market while other petty traders will be relocated to the neighbouring markets.
‘We are also encouraging businesses which have outgrown the small trader status to move into more formal businesses and pay taxes like the rest’, he said.
As part of the new plans, district authorities and house owners have agreed to replace the old dilapidated structures with new two storey structures.
Butare, the colonial headquarters of the then Ruanda-Urundi under the colonial rule has not seen much in infrastructural development as many buildings were constructed in the 1950’s and have suffered neglect over the years.
The roads within the commercial section of the town are potholed and dusty. According to the Mayor, a study has been done by the Ministry of Infrastructure and rehabilitation works on the 4 km road stretch is only waiting for funding from the central government.
Mayor Twagiramutara said that the district through its investment group is wooing investors to take advantage of the enormous business potentials in the area.
‘There is great potential in the housing and service sector because of the National University of Rwanda which has a student population of over 10,000. Business people should tap this virgin market’, he said.