Lord Mayor, govt clash over eviction of vendors

Lord Mayor, govt clash over eviction of vendors
Lord Mayor, govt clash over eviction of vendors

Africa-Press – Uganda. Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has clashed with government over planned the eviction of street vendors saying the latter did not follow the right procedure while issuing the ultimatum.

Speaking to the media after presenting his New Year message to the council members in Kampala yesterday , Mr Lukwago said the current regime governing trade order in Kampala allows street vending in an organised manner and it’s the duty of KCCA to work out a mechanism of regulating them.

“That is where the RCC and other leaders go wrong because the law constitutes that street vending and hawking is illegal which is not true. Like the trade order ordinance 2006, the Trade Licencing Act 1969 provides for hawkers licence and Kampala street traders by-laws,” he said.

The Lord Mayor recommended that the government provides necessary funds for construction of modern markets to accommodate the urban poor.

“We must finalise markets which were put on hold due to lack of funds like Kitante, Busega and also have modern markets in each division of Kampala,” he said.

Mr Lukwago’s remarks come after the Kampala Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Mr Hussein Hudu, gave vendors one week to vacate the streets and take up space in the city markets of Usafi and Wandegeya.

While addressing the media on Wednesday, Mr Hudu said vending and hawking is illegal.

“The simple issue of vendors being relocated from streets to the markets has been politicised. Usafi and Wandegeya markets are empty,” Mr Hudu said.

He said the vendors were last week told to leave the streets but they did not oblige. “I, therefore, appeal to all vendors to leave Kampala streets within five days. The concerned security agencies in Kampala have been given instructions to apply the law when the days expire,” he added.

Early this week, KCCA deployed law enforcement officers to evict street vendors although the deadline had not passed.

Mr Lukwago added that for all the years he has been at KCCA, he has decried the brutality meted out onto the urban poor who are struggling to earn a living.

“We should be oblivious of our mission and vision as KCCA for creating an all-inclusive, vibrant, attractive, sustainable and liveable city. For us to realise our mission and vision, we should have mechanism that offers opportunities and working space for the urban poor,” he said

He also recommended that the Kampala minister, RCC and other central government agents liaise with the institution to deliberate on various issues before unleashing operations.

However, Mr Hudu said the markets are meant to help decongest the city.

“Organising street vendors to go to the markets is one of the ways of helping them get out of poverty because you cannot grow economically strong when you do not have an address where you do your work from,” he said.

Ms Lilian Nakakande, the Lord councillor for Nakawa C, said there is need to sensitise vendors before evicting them because many have never rented a stall or a shop.

“There is need to regulate these vendors and assign them some particular open places and roads where they can be licensed to operate from in accordance with the existing law,” she said

Ms Nakakande added that arcade owners should reduce their exorbitant rent tariffs because some vendors have refused to leave streets because of excessive rent charges.

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