Traders of ‘Grenier du Burundi’ market relocated to COTEBU market

The Bujumbura Mayor’s decision to relocate traders of ‘Grenier du Burundi’ market in Bujumbura city center to ‘COTEBU’ market in Ngagara zone has been implemented since this morning. Some traders say their goods are still locked up in the former market.

The ‘Grenier du Burundi’ market closed now.

The ‘Grenier du Burundi’ market closed now.

Since the morning of Wednesday 5 July, the ‘Grenier du Burundi’ market located in Bujumbura is closed and surrounded by police officers to prevent anyone from entering it. The stands are almost empty.

Some women who were doing their business in this market were sitting 10 meters away from the market. They were desperate and distressed. They say their goods are locked up in this market because they could not get them out the night before. “Yesterday, I could not get my goods out of the market. I was looking for the place to put them and continue my business activities”, says one of those women on condition of anonymity. She says the police didn’t allow her to take her goods and sell them elsewhere. “My goods are likely to rot if they do not give me the permission to immediately get them out of the market,” she says.

Another woman says she could not find a place in COTEBU market. “The Mayor of Bujumbura city surprised us. He gave us a three-day ultimatum to leave the ‘Grenier du Burundi’ market. Three days is not enough to find stands in other markets. I don’t know what will become of my children as I am not working”, she says.

In a ministerial ordinance released on 29 June, 2017, Pascal Barandagiye, Minister of the Interior, ordered all traders who were doing business activities in ‘Grenier du Burundi’ market to relocate to the market called COTEBU situated in Ngagara zone. The Mayor of Bujumbura City, Freddy Mbonimpa says the decision was taken to promote business activities in the newly built COTEBU market which was constructed after the former Bujumbura Central Market caught fire on 27 January 2013.

Aimable Nduwayo, the ‘Grenier du Burundi’ market manager says vendors whose goods are still locked up inside the market will be allowed to take them out before the end of the day. “We made the decision to prevent people from entering it individually to avoid theft,” says Nduwayo.

According to him, any trader who had signed a contract with the ‘Grenier du Burundi’ management will have a stand in the COTEBU market. “Traders who were unofficially doing their businesses in that market are not recognized. They do not have access to stands in the COTEBU market, “he says.

‘Grenier du Burundi’ market is widely known for the sale of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and other foodstuffs.