There is a market in each of the sectors in Rubavu with big money already spent during their construction process. However, the turn up seems to be problematic to the business people in the district as they opt to shift stands around in the outer compounds around these market to escape from paying taxes.
The built markets which are not active include Rubavu, Rugerero, Kanzenze [only a few are doing business there] and Kanzenze shelter market.The low turn up to do business at respective marketplaces is drawing confusions among the western community, especially in Rubavu.
Jean Paul Nkundabakiga is the President of Rubavu modern Market says it cost more Rwf 350 million to build the complex whose 288 stands and 38 shop doors.
Of the 38 doors, only three are operating, while on the market ground, only five stands are active while ordinary businesses were shifted around the market.Nkundabakiga says the market management have long been wondering why the district is not taking action in mobilizing people to shift their business inside the market which was built at their stake.
He says, “The survey recently conducted shows that at least 260 business people are doing their businesses out of the market while it was built for them owing to the district’s unwillingness in mobilizing them to shift their business into the market”
Business woman Olive Murorunkwere, who is doing her business out of the market says heavy taxes have been a barier to shifting their businesses to the market and opted to stay working outside.she says, ” we are supposed to pay taxes worth Rwf 3000 every month, while our interests sometimes are below the tax demanded, that’s why we opted to remain outside playing marathon race around with DASSOs”
On the other hand, those who are doing their businesses in the market’s stands by paying taxes, also decry the lack of customers and claim local government should stop some small evening markets which operate in different villages without paying taxes but still their businesses attract customers who were supposed to be theirs.
Speaking on the issue, Janvier Murenzi, the district Vice Mayor in charge of Finance and Economic Development said the district is going to do its best to find the solution to this issue He said, ” we are going to mobilise people and encorage them to do their businesses in modern markets by first banning small markets to operate in villages”
It is said that 10 years have passed since some of the modern markets were built. However, the fact that they are not operating is that they were built without consulting people about where they feel comfortable they might be built at their expence, according to some sources who were grassroots leaders before 2010.
More non performing markets include Mukamira in Nyabihu, Kirengeri in Ruhango, Musha in Rwamagana and Ndatemwa in Gatsibo, among others.Apart from taxes, people also claim they struggle to travel to these markets because they are built far away while others are built next to old markets, and are struggling to compete with these old markets in terms of turn ups.
In Gatsibo District, the administration says they cannot reduce the tax amount, stated by either the law or the district council committee.