The minister for local government Rafael Magyezi has given the contractors of Masaka city market 45 days to complete and handover the market to traders.
Multiplex Alshamas Constructions limited was in February 2018 hired to construct the market planned to accommodate over 2000 vendors at a cost of 18.45 Billion Shillings. The market was to be completed by February 2020, but up to now the work is still staggering at about 83%.
Magyezi said that the construction works of Masaka central market have been too slow compared to similar projects across the country accusing the contractor of laxity which has delayed the completion of the project.
This is the third time the contractor is seeking an extension after failing to complete the construction works during the second extension which ended on July 30th this year.
While inspecting the progress of the construction works on Saturday, Magyezi said they agreed to give extra time of 45 days which will run up to November 30th and after that time they will have no option but to drag the contractor to court for liquidation which is likely to cost the contractor at least shs 10m each day that will pass.
“I am tired of stories. What I need now is to have the market complete and I invite the president to commission so that the traders, the owners of the market can start using it, we can’t keep them waiting anymore,” said the Minister.
He advised the contractor to hire more manpower, machinery and necessary resources to ensure that they can complete the construction works in the agreed time saying that the ministry is ready to give him all support needed.
The government is constructing a multi billion modern market in Masaka city under phase two of the market and agricultural improvement program project (MATIPII) funded by the African Development Bank – ADB.
Moses Ndege, the managing director of Multiplex Alshamas Construction blamed their delays to continued change of designs of the market.
He said that at a certain level they have been reaching, they have been getting a challenge of redoing the work because the leaders of the market vendors thought that the market design lacked something or had an issue to fix.
He said that they are remaining with little works such as painting, paving other floor works and improving the restrooms for ladies saying that the extension they have asked for will enable them complete work in 45 days.
Masaka city town clerk John Bahangane said that at first, the contractor was deploying limited manpower which affected the construction works and delayed their works but they have since increased on the number of workers which has helped them to move faster.
Beth Nakayiza, the chairperson of Masaka market vendors said that they have tried to supervise closely what is happening and they have not hesitated to ask the contractor to re-do the work.
She thanked Magyezi for the advice of turning space that had been allocated for a parking space at the rooftop into stalls.