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Proposed eviction of street vendors divide Mbale City leaders

Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A bitter row has erupted between the Mbale City Town Clerk, David Kyansanku, and Industrial city Division Mayor, Muhamood Masaaba Mutenyo over the proposed eviction of street vendors.

Last month, Kyansanku issued an eviction notice to the vendors to vacate the streets by January 1, 2022.  He warned that anyone found carrying out business on the streets/service lanes shall be arrested and prosecuted in court.

Kyansanku said during an interview that all street vendors are required to go back to the market, which has enough space to accommodate all of them.

He said that the city has now two courts with two magistrates ready to prosecute any vendor who will fail to comply with the directives, adding that the congestion in town is causing a lot of accidents.

Kyansanku’s notice to evict the street vendors has met stiff resistance from the local leaders led by the Industrial City Division Mayor, Muhamood Masaaba Mutenyo. He asked vendors not to vacate the streets, saying the town clerk didn’t consult him before issuing the directive.

He also claims that the town clerk didn’t sensitive the vendors before issuing the eviction notice, adding that the town clerk is only working with the City mayor leaving out other local leaders.

The Mbale City Deputy Speaker, Abdallah Magambo opined that the conflict between the City Clerk and the Division Mayor is going to affect service delivery because the law enforcers have now been demoralized.

He said that although the city clerk erred in not consulting the local leaders before issuing the eviction notice, saying the move is good because no one wants to live in a crowded town.

“Obviously no one wants to live in a crowded area, the vendors must go back to the markets but the city clerk should have consulted the local leaders for proper planning,” he said.

Musa Kassaja, the Industrial City Division Speaker, says that there is a big gap between the city authority and the Division in terms of service delivery.

He says that it is upon the center to resolve the impasse by giving the Division the necessary resources like money and human resource such that it is able to manage its own affairs.

David Wetaka, the President of the Mbale City Development Forum, says that the current impasse among the leaders of the city results from the failure of the central government to put in place guidelines for the different structures.

The Mbale City Resident Commissioner, Ahamada Washaki told URN that the clash between the two leaders was caused by a communication gap.

He said that the failure by the city clerk to copy Division Mayors on the eviction notice made them feel undermined, which sparked the war.

He however noted that they have now resolved with all the leaders that the vendors must vacate the streets and fill up the markets, which have empty spaces.



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