Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of State for Microfinance Haruna Kasolo has criticized the manner in which Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA law enforcement officers deal with street vendors.
KCCA law enforcement officers are known for brutally arresting vendors and confiscating their merchandise.
In 2017, a street vendor Olivia Basemera drowned in Nakivubo Channel while fleeing arrest by law enforcement officers after she was found selling handkerchiefs on Kampala streets. The incident attracted criticism to KCCA and many thought it would be a turning point for them.
Kasolo now says he will not train people on economic growth and encourage them to work only for law enforcement officers to undo his efforts arresting and destroying people’s merchandise.
Although KCCA law enforcement officers are expected to keep the merchandise they confiscate during their operations safe, they bundle all items on their trucks, and some of been reported to sell them off after arresting the vendors.
It is illegal for vendors to operate in non gazetted areas like streets but Kasolo says that the best solution is for the top leadership of Kampala to empower local council leaders to enforce order on the streets.
He says there should be a fine that the culprits pay to the local offices to recover their merchandise. If the same is repeated, still, a fine is levied. Kasolo says this will help them bring sanity in business in Kampala.
Kasolo made the remarks during a meeting with the leadership of KCCA and vendors from Nakasero Market where they were training vendors on the Emyooga Fund.
During the training, Kasolo called upon the public to embrace the Emyooga fund to come out of poverty. He urged the pubic to avoid playing politics with government programs but seek benefit from the programs. He cautioned against naysayers who discourage participation.
He says they should not be misled by politicians advancing selfish interests but rather focus on their jobs and what they can yield from the programs.
Vendors running similar businesses are required to form groups of almost 30 members. The groups constitute a SACCO that shall receive Shillings 30 million.
Kasolso says they shall work together with local leaders and form taskforces to monitor the project at village and parish level.
The Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Betty Amongi also urged the public to embrace the program saying Kampala is privileged to have received more money.
Government planned for Shillings 560 million per constituency but Amongi says, the president gave special consideration to Kampala and allocated Shillings 25 billion to Kampala because of its high population and special position.
Tom Kadmunda, a trader in Nakasero market is hopeful that the fund shall boost their economic muscle. He says they have previously received funding from government but were sidelined by their leaders. He says, now that there is new leadership in the market, they expect to benefit from government programs.
The Emyooga programme is a presidential initiative on wealth and job creation. The programme targets Ugandans, especially in the informal sector who come together in form of savings and credit cooperative societies.
Government has set aside shillings 260 billion for the project. The finance ministry has so far released shillings 150 billion through the Micro Finance Support Centre.