Tensions among traders at Kinama rehabilitated market

Cries, insults, frustration …are what characterized the morning atmosphere of traders at Kinama newly rehabilitated market in the capital Bujumbura this 14 February. Since the six rehabilitated markets were reopened to traders, those from Kinama neighbourhood were allowed to get into the market by 13 February.

Traders of Kinama rehabilitated market are not pleased with the small stands given to them

Traders of Kinama rehabilitated market are not pleased with the small stands given to them

Traders surprisingly discovered that the number of stands distributed by the Bujumbura Mayor do not match with the existing places in the rehabilitated market. They say the big and well-placed stands have been given out to the former chiefs of the market.

“Our former stands were divided into four smaller ones each to be distributed to four traders”, says a widow of 6 children. We have lost our former places and those which have been given to us are very small. “I wonder how my children will survive if I don’t receive a place equal to the former one in order to do my business”, she says, in tears.

Another trader at Kinama rehabilitated market says tensions will run high among traders any time if nothing is done. “Our former places have been distributed to new traders. Bujumbura Mayor must intervene, otherwise, the rehabilitated market will never be opened as long as our problems are still unsolved”, he says angrily.

Jean Claude Mpawenimana, Representative of Kinama traders, says all irregularities were caused by the former market committee. “We temporarily left this market with 1400 places but we return with more than 2200 ones distributed to traders. This meant the former places have been divided into smaller places and distributed to new traders”, he says.

Mpawenimana says Bujumbura Mayor must intervene before tensions run higher. “People are so frustrated and the situation is tense. We really need clarifications before this market should open,” he says.
Contacted, the chairman of the commission in charge of the rehabilitated market didn’t want to make a comment.

The six peripheral markets namely Kanyosha, Musaga, Jabe, Ngagara, Kinindo, Kinama and the newly constructed market “Ruziba” have been rehabilitated thanks to the support of the European Union with an estimated aid of four million euros. After the release of the lists of traders and their places, the Bujumbura City Council has given traders one month to erect their stands.

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