Wundanyi /Mbale ward member of County Assembly Hon. Stephen Mcharo sought a statement 0n 31st March 2021 from the chairperson Trade, Industry and Cooperative development committee, on the status of Wundanyi modern market.
Hon. Mcharo said Wundanyi market has been under construction since 2019 with the original plan being a storey building housing stalls and groceries with a budget allocation Ksh. 122 million but the plan was changed to an ordinary market with 124 groceries and 110 stalls at a cost of Ksh 10 million and 22 million for phase one and phase two respectively after the project management committee comprising of traders cited budgetary constraints.
The legislator said the construction of the market was scheduled to commence in 2019 but failed to kick off until 2020 where the county government department sent a contractor who was to complete the construction and hand over by January 26th 2021 but the market has not been completed to date.
“Mr. Speaker traders are suffering since they were moved to another location with poor customer flow hence leaving them to languish in abject poverty since their sales declined sharply,” said Hon Mcharo.
Hon Mcharo decried lack of commitment by the County executive department of Trade, Tourism and Industrialization in ensuring that the market is completed in time since the contractor was not paid Ksh. 3.5 million as part of his payment that would enable him compete the project.
The legislator said Covid -19 has adversely affected traders thus forcing them to return to the uncompleted market with no shelter in a bid to make a living,claiming that they were at least making sales owing to the fact that the market is next to matatu stage with a better flow of customers as compared to where they were and as a gesture of how strategic and important the market site was for them.
Hon. Mcharo asked the committee to inform the house when the project will be completed, when the contractor will be paid his dues and if the contractor defaulted and is to be dismissed when will a new contractor report at the site and what will be the fate of the poor traders.
Adding her voice to the statement Nominated Member of County Assembly Hon. Bertinah Mwaiseghe said while other markets in the county were fast being constructed and completed poor traders in Wundanyi market have been neglected and sidelined despite paying their licenses which contributed to the county revenue.
Also adding his voice to the statement Mwanda/Mgange ward member of County Assembly Hon. Anselm Mwadime said the current situation which forced the traders to go back to the uncompleted market and at the road sides posing a risk not only to the traders but to other road users.
“Mr. Speaker it is too annoying to see an elderly woman risking her life selling by the road side just because she wants to making a living for her family yet the county government is watching!” said Hon. Mwadime.
Speaker Maganga Meshack Maghanga directed the Committee to summon the County Executive Committee Member( CECM) in charge of Trade Tourism, Industrialization and Cooperative development to appear before the whole house next week to shade light on the matter.