Constructed in 2015, the population at the Shs12.7 billion market is almost below quarter capacity of the facility with agricultural produce vendors occupying most of it. The lockup stalls which are allocated to vendors dealing in clothes, salons, crafts, electronics are currently empty.
The Wild Central: Traditionalist sets up 'shrine' in 'abandoned' Nyendo market
Vendors in Nyendo market have accused one of their colleagues, a traditional healer, for running a 'shrine' business in the market. The accusations attracted Masaka City authorities to question the market leadership.
This, on the second floor of the abandoned stalls, is where the traditional healer allegedly set up his 'shrine'.
The Resident City Commissioner of Masaka City, Ronald Katende, after receiving "reliable information" tasked the leadership of Nyendo-Mukungwe Municipality last week, to explain how a traditional healer, a non-vendor, managed to accomplish the set up.
He said, "it shows the market doesn’t serve its purpose."
"One person has taken advantage of the empty stalls on one of the floors of the market to establish a shrine. The local leaders must explain how a traditional healer occupied part of the floor, which was designed to accommodate vendors," Katende noted.
The Nyendo-Mukungwe Municipal Mayor, Mulindwa Nakumusaana, instructed the market authorities to investigate the matter to settle whether it is a shrine.
“Some of the people I have talked to say it is a cultural gifts shop and not a shrine. We are yet to get the truth,” he said.
According to vendors, notably, one Matilda Nabadda, a fish vendor at the market, the accused operates a shrine with clients as far as Sembabule District coming to his stall.
“He calls it a shop so that leaders can allow him to operate freely,’’ she said.
The accused, who identified himself only as Ssentongo, had an assortment of cultural and traditional items. They included: cow tails, animal horns, leopard skins, backcloth, skins of snakes, cowrie shells, feathers of rare birds, walking sticks, and beads.
According to Ssentongo, his business is a "cultural gifts shop". He said that he opened it due to the high demand for cultural items.
“I chose to bring services closer to the people. I deal in cultural and traditional items and that is why some people call it a shrine, but it is a shop like any other,” he said.
By Thursday last week, the said shrine was closed.
Ssentongo claimed that he temporarily closed the 'shop' after he received threats of burning it down.
Dirt and filth
In the same week, State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Beatrice Akello, visited the market. She accused the leadership of the Municipality of poorly managing the facility. Upon inspection, she said the market was suffering poor sanitation under its administration.
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