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Roadside vendors in Gulu city ordered off the streets

Roadside vendors in Gulu city.

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Gulu city security committee has ordered vendors to vacate the roadside over security threats and accidents.

There are hundreds of roadside vendors operating along different roads in Gulu city. They are mainly congested along the Gulu-Kampala highway, Main street, around Stanbic bank, and Andrea Olal road among others.

The roadside vendors display their items on the pedestrian walkways forcing people to walk on the roads or fight for the same space.

Denis Odongpiny Odwong, the Gulu Resident City Commissioner says that they have resolved that the roadside vendors vacate the streets effective November 1 or face forceful eviction.

He explains that the roadside vendors are not only causing congestion along the roads but also affecting smooth traffic flow as well as jeopardizing security within the city area.

Odongpiny advised the roadside vendors to occupy vacant space in gazetted markets instead of operating in ungazetted areas.

Austin Ocen, the Gulu District Police Commander says that the roadside vendors are exposed to acts of terrorism and crimes because their security is not maintained since they operate in illegal places.

On Wednesday, authorities of Pece-Laroo division council passed a resolution that all street vendors and hawkers in the area stop their operations over challenges in collecting taxes.

Gilbert Oloya, the town clerk of Pece Laroo division blamed law enforcement officers for failing to evict the roadside vendors much as the council passes resolutions stopping the business.

While inducting Gulu City Councilors mid this month, Raphael Magyezi, the Minister for Local Government tasked the city authorities with maintaining sanity along the major streets.

However, the roadside vendors have pleaded with the security and city authorities to at least give them one month to vacate the streets as they make arrangements to relocate to the gazetted markets.

Athanasius Omony, the chairperson of the roadside vendors requested the authorities to give them at least up to December this year to vacate the streets.

Susan Abwol, 31, who sells vegetables along the Gulu-Kampala highway and has operated her business along the roadside says that she is saddened by the authorities decision to evict them.

Another roadside vendor, Doreen Adiyo who vends tomatoes, onions, and Irish potatoes along Andrea Olal road says that she has little money which cannot support her to relocate to the market.

This is not the first time Gulu city authorities have ordered roadside vendors to vacate over congestion and security reasons.

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