Arusha Times (Arusha)

Tanzania: City to Have Own Version of 'Machinga Complex'

A massive trading complex which will accommodate more than 6000 petty traders in Arusha City is going to be constructed adjacent to the Kilombero market in Levolosi ward.

Mr Gaudence Lyimo, the Mayor for Arusha City, said the councilors have decided to gather all petty traders, hawkers and small scale vegetable and fruits dealers under one roof to curb the current problem of random and unhealthy trading activities in town.

"No. It is not going to be called 'Machinga Complex' because here in Arusha the term 'Machinga' is regarded as an 'insult,'" said the City Mayor.

For years the council has been at loggerheads with petty traders, resulting into series of street-based skirmishes, something that has been providing political capital to the opposition parties represented in Arusha.

During his visit here last week, President Jakaya Kikwete however warned the city fathers not to harass petty traders because it was the authorities' own fault for failure to provide the former with alternative trading areas and due to that therefore the hawkers were compelled to operate randomly in the streets.

As a result, the city council now wants to erect a special, multi-storey premises for street traders.

The area on which the proposed petty traders' facility will be erected happens to be the controversial vast Plot number 68 Block W of area F, measuring 7500 square meters, that is located adjacent to the Kilombero Market in the Levolosi Ward, opposite 'Summit Center.'

Those were the same grounds that got invaded by the same petty traders last month who were irked by the fact that the plot remained under fencing since 2006, suspecting that it will be sold off to tycoons as was the case seven years ago.

Earlier on the plot was reportedly 'awarded' to M/s Ermoil Marketing Company Limited so that the firm could construct a private commercial complex but an uproar from local residents prompted the authorities to revoke the deal.

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