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SECURITY: Relocation of Kampala city vendors starts next week

FILE PHOTO: Vegetable vendors selling along Luwum Street in Kampala. 

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The relocation of street vendors to gazetted market places will start next week, Kabuye Ky’ofatogabye, the State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs has said.

Speaking at the celebrations to mark 20 years of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), Kabuye said that the government has secured space in Owino, Kalerwe, and USAFI markets. He said that the relocation process will start with a meeting with the leaders of the vendors on Tuesday.

He said that the leaders should encourage the vendors to settle in designated markets while supporting their business to grow.

Kabuye said that the presence of hawkers on the streets is posing a security threat following last month’s bombings in the city and curbing the spread of Covid-19. He advised the vendors to voluntarily relocate to the designated market areas to avoid being forced by enforcement authorities.

This is not the first time vendors have been told to vacate the streets. In 2016, KACITA) issued an ultimatum, to rid the streets of vending activities.

Street vending activities had already been outlawed by the authority. Their return irked traders who said they were being subjected to unfair competition from the vendors even after incurring expenses in trade licenses, rent, and income tax.

In order to eliminate street vending, KCCA also embarked on plans to construct seven modern markets in the five city divisions, to create space for about 22,800 vendors.

In 2012, the government embarked on the construction of several markets in a bid to get rid of vendors. The markets were constructed in USAFI, Ntinda, Kitintale, Busega, Kasubi, Nakulabye, Kasubi and Ggaba.

However, the vendors have refused to occupy the markets on grounds that the City dwellers find it difficult to access the markets.

KACITA’s Vice Chairperson Hope Katwiine welcomed the decision by the Minister saying that it will bring trade order in the City.

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One comment

  1. But these same vendors are the most vigilant people. They see everyone and notice everything. Even terrorists know they are constantly being watched by such people, which even explains why they bombed locations with few vendors. Is this really the best decision for security when public vigilance is needed most?

    And as for covid concerns, isn’t it safer to have the vendors spread out across the city as they are now, instead of creating even more closely packed crowded spaces where they would even attract more crowds as their customers?

    When two reasons are given for such a decision and both don’t seem to hold water… one wonders, what is the real reason for this move?

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