Uganda reportedly imports over 50, 000 vehicles each year but of these, a paltry 10 percent are said to be new, the rest being used cars. This also means that for these used cars to be able to evenly move on the road need to periodically undergo service and some parts replaced with new ones.
The importation of these old cars over the years has given way for a blossoming motor spare parts trade to grow. The most notable market for spare parts has been the notorious Kiseka Market, downtown Kampala. Until recently, it has been the main source of spare parts and expert mechanics to work on old cars.
Kiseka Market’s monopoly bred a bad habit practiced by mainly by mechanics, middle men and some scrupulous shop attendants who connive to cheat unsuspecting customers. People have reported losing money in the market.
“You go with car needing a small spare part replacement, you come out with a bigger problem,” Yasin Jjemba said. What happens in Kiseka is that mechanics while working on your replace you still working parts of say the engine and replace them with faulty parts.
But the dominance of Kiseka Market has been subdued by the introduction of Segawa Market in Kisenyi – Mengo by Haruna Enterprises, a real estate company owned by Haruna Sentongo. Segawa Market specializes in shops and traders dealing in motor spare parts and other light machinery. It has provided an alternatives to dreaded Kiseka Market.
Segawa Market complex has over 320 shops of different sizes and shape. According to Isaac Newton, the property manager at Haruna Enterprises, Segawa Market, located at Mwanga II Road, opposite Lubiri, in Kisenyi aspires to be the one stop center that sells spare parts for motorcycles, vehicles and other light machinery.
“We have the largest ample parking space, the size of an acre. And while other markets close at 7pm, Segawa market is open 24 hours a day. You can come in anytime of the day, night or day, and buy what any spare or have a mechanic work on you.”
And for tenants, all they have to worry about is paying rent, the landlord takes care of bills for utilities like water, electricity and disposing off of garbage. Because their target is to be a market for spare parts, the landlord prefers to let shops to spare parts dealers.
Haruna Enterprises also offers a subside to its customers. News tenants are guaranteed of three months free of rent to enable them stabilize and grow their business. Businessman Sentongo said this has been done to help tenants grow their businesses without worrying about rent. Sentongo under Haruna Enterprises owns a variety of commercial building in the city such as Haruna Towers in Wandegeya and another one located in Ntinda.
Segawa Market is fully installed with electricity, standby generators, water supply and water tanks to store water for emergencies and a security detail backed by Uganda Police. The property is suitable for business and office space hire.
The shops come in all sizes and prices on the first and second floor and for all sorts of businesses. Imagine finding genuine spare parts and a mechanic in one neat, orderly place with no idlers, crook middle men and at any time of the day, well that is what Segawa Market is offering.
Sentongo, by offering Segawa Market, has helped motorists not to be dependent on only Kiseka Market and other scrupulous dealers operating makeshift garages to get spare parts for their automobiles.
“Our mechanics are attached to those shops. We know them so they cannot cheat customers like the case is in Kiseka market and other places. While other markets close at 7pm, Segawa market is open 24 hours a day. We have the largest ample parking space, the size of an acre. And you can come in anytime of the day, night or day, and buy what any spare or have a mechanic work on you,” Isaac Newton, the property manager at Haruna Enterprises says.
Moses Sebalu, a businessman at Segawa Market explains that the market offers small business owners an opportunities to organize themselves and expand further. “With place like Segawa Market, customers will know where to find and keep in touch with them. With good customer care, you maintain a good relationship with your customers.” Serubiri said.