It is not the first time that businesses have been burnt to clear for development. If it is true that there are big 'men' who want the Park Yard market area, why then should any construction go on now before the facts are established? Who owns this land? The owner of the land should come out straight on what next instead of petty traders making those easily destroyed constructions which will be gutted another time if the right strategy is not got.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
Hundreds of traders whose efforts to save their merchandise were futile, have lost their merchandise worth billions of shillings in the inferno.
By 10am Sunday, police firefighting canons could still be seen on site.
Police has also heavily deployed at the premises to keep law and order, and stop thugs looting the little merchandise which was saved.
Owino, also known as Parkyard Market and St. Balikudembe Market, is Kampala’s largest outdoor market with over 500,000 traders.
The Parkyard Market, established by traders as a secondary market in the car park of neighboring Nakivubo Market, has been a center of trade on second-hand items like textiles, shoes, bags, electronics, and tarpaulins.
Most of the vendors at the fire-gutted market have been left with nothing, since most of them and their families depended on the market trade.
Others had secured soft loans from financial institutions following the 2009 fire to enable them re-establish their businesses but are now back to zero.
Most say they are left stranded since they had not fulfilled entirely their loans and speculate that it would be difficult to acquire more loans.
This is the second time the market has suffered such a fire on a large-scale. The last time the Owino traders lost their property in a fire was in late February 2009.
In the 1980s, the parking was taken over by the market vendors.