Konyokonyo Market Demolished, Traders Assured Of New Shops

A bulldozer demolishing parts of Konyokonyo market to pave way for new constructions [©Gurtong]

A bulldozer demolishing parts of Konyokonyo market to pave way for new constructions [©Gurtong]

Traders in Konyokonyo market in Juba woke up last Thursday only to find bulldozers waiting for the 10 O’clock deadline to start demolishing their business premises.

“We need cooperation from the citizens to make sure that Juba is well organized in terms of its markets, roads and residential areas just like other cities.” said Vincent Kujo, the Chairman for the Demolition Committee.

“Konyokonyo is one of the oldest markets in Juba and the dirtiest of all. Demolishing it was an achievement to pave way for proper construction so that the traders can operate in good conditions,” Kujo added.

The Traders Union of Konyokonyo market invited the City Council of Juba to promptly carryout the demolition for a suitable market set up.

“The shopkeepers were given evacuation notices and the city council will review their licenses. We’re not chasing you away; we just need to organize the market. We don’t want to destroy the properties of our people; but they do not want to take our directives seriously unless they see the bulldozer,” said Mr. David Lokonga Moses, Juba Deputy Mayor.

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“Those who are hawking in residential areas, while owning makeshift-kiosks will also be demolished. The City council would like to put up a world class market structure,” Lokonga added.

The Konyokonyo Traders Union travelled to Dubai and Kenya to witness how modern markets and shopping malls are designed. The union came up with a modern design for Konyokonyo market and presented to the City Council hence the demolition of the market to pave way for the birth of a New Konyokonyo market. This is aimed to be complete within 11 months.

The Chief Executive Officer of Juba City Council, Johnson Soka Mesak Jada assured that after completion, the market will accommodate all the traders.

“The City Council has registered all the traders in Konyokonyo market and they were issued with certificates. Once the construction of the market is over each one of them will take up their rightful places,” Jada assured the traders.

“Our mothers selling greens were transferred to an open area to market their produce; after the market construction is done, we shall return them back.  Konyokonyo is the biggest market in Juba and all greens are found here,” Jada added.

There was little residence from some of the traders who were renting shops. Konyokonyo was dirty indeed; there were canopies behind the market used as residence by the traders.

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