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CHRISTMAS: Street vendors overwhelm KCCA

Vegetable vendors selling along Luwum Street in Kampala. INDEPENDENT/JIMMY SIYA

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Street vendors overwhelmed the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) law enforcement team in downtown Kampala on Christmas eve.

On Tuesday, the street vendors poured on the road between Owino Market and Mukwano Arcade stretching all the way to Ham Shopping ground, making it almost impassable.

The street vendors extended beyond their usual operating areas like walk ways. A team of KCCA officials was seen ordering the vendors to free space on the road in vain.

The vendor would leave and return immediately the KCCA officials leave the area.

This prompted an exchange in some case with KCCA officials ordering vendors off the road as they the vendors asked the officials to let them operate.

KCCA however didn’t confiscate any goods from the vendors who were struggling to make last minute Christmas sales. For about a week now, vendors have been operating on the streets without interruption from KCCA.

One of the vendors dealing in second hand clothes said they wish KCCA lets them operate freely on that road during such a holiday. He says buyers are scarce, which prompts them to bring merchandise even closer to the people on the streets.

Sam Luswata also a dealer in second hand clothes said sales were still low despite the fact Christmas is just a few hours away. He wants KCCA to have a special arrangement during Christmas such that they can be left to work freely down town.

Ahmad Kirumira, a seasonal dealer in balloons operating outside the newly constructed Total Plaza hasn’t been interrupted by KCCA as he operates off the road. He only decries low sales made so far.

He invested sh200,000 to buy balloons, which he sells at Shillings 1000 for three pieces. Kirumira told URN Tuesday was his third day working but he had only sold balloons worth Shillings 100,000.

Previously, an investment of sh200,000 attracted for him at least Shillings 500,000 profit in less than two days, he says.

Tonny Kasozi, sales dresses outside Swaminarayan Temple opposite Shoprite Clock Tower. He also said he hadn’t made as much sales this season.

He said apart from buyers not being forthcoming, they are also in running battles with KCCA.

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