The Governor of Western Province, François Habitegeko has said that the much-awaited Gisenyi market will finally be completed within the next six months.
In an interview with The New Times, Habitegeko addressed the long-standing controversy surrounding the market, revealing that the construction permit was issued to investors, but various challenges had caused significant delays.
“The construction permit for Gisenyi market was granted to the investors along with all necessary support,” he said. “Now it is up to the engineers to accelerate the construction process and ensure that the market is ready for the population to relocate to their new workplace. The goal is to complete it as soon as possible.”
Habitegeko further explained, “We have reached an agreement with the investors in charge of building the market, setting a maximum timeline of six months for completion. They have assured us that they will make the market operational as soon as all the necessary resources are in place.”
Pierre-Célestin Twagirayezu, the Chairperson for Rubavu Investment Company (RICO), the company that was given the tender to build the market, says construction has faced challenges due to poorly constructed footings. The company has had to allocate extra funds for extensions and the addition of a lift. The original footings were meant to be 500mm deep, but the investors found them to be between 250-300mm.
The completion of the market, initially expected in 2013, was impeded by issues with the construction permit and other setbacks.
Meanwhile, Twagirayezu revealed that the company is actively seeking a loan of Rwf 1.5 billion to expedite the remaining work, with a goal of finishing within four months.
Presently, the construction progress stands at 62 percent.
Local business owners, like Nina Mukasine, 42, and Jean de Paul Mucyo, who operate in the old market, have been eagerly awaiting the completion of the new workplace. Mukasine expressed her frustration, saying, “The current market is too old and terrible, especially during the rainy season when our goods perish quickly. It’s embarrassing to work in such poor conditions while seeing the unfinished new market nearby.”
The multimillion-dollar Gisenyi market project is one of several infrastructures being established as Rubavu town’s expansion is underway.