Africa-Press – Uganda. The Kampala City Resident Commissioner, Mr Hussein Hud, has given street vendors one week to vacate and take up space in the city markets of Usafi and Wandegeya.
While addressing the press at Uganda Media Centre yesterday, Mr Hud said vending and hawking is illegal.
“The simple issue of vendors being reallocated from streets to the markets has been politicised. Usafi and Wandegeya markets are empty. The amount of money government invested in building these markets is unaccounted for and some among the political showbiz masters in Kampala think that nothing should be done,” he said.
Mr Hud said the vendors were told last week to leave the streets but they did not ‘‘and we took that time as grace period’’.
“I am, therefore, appealing to all vendors now to leave the Kampala streets within five days from now, the concerned security agencies in Kampala have been given instructions to apply when the days expire,” he added.
Last year, Ms Dorothy Kisaka, the executive director of Kampala Capital City Authority, launched Kampala Smart City initiative, which involved proper garbage collection and management.
During the campaign, the enforcers resorted to sensitising vendors through passing messages on public address systems but achieved minimal success.
Mr Hud tasked vendors to get working space in arcades, shops and markets where they shall be licensed to operate.
He added that working on the streets not only congests the city but robs government of revenue.
Mr Hud also said the existence of street vendors and hawkers poses a security threat. He added that criminals engaging in petty offences such as snatching bags and phones could thrive.
Mr Jjemba Kanakulya Mulondo, the deputy spokesperson of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), told Daily Monitor yesterday that KCCA issued a notice to the business community of Kampala last year in September instructing all vendors to leave the streets.
He said because it was coming to Christmas period, the KACITA, KCCA and the landlords agreed to remove them because they would cause chaos in the city and yet they were expecting tourists.
“KACITA, KCCA and the landlords agreed to relocate the street vendors in January 2022,’’ he said.
But Isma Mubiru, a hawker, who is also the chairperson of Fuba Tukola Hawkers and Vendors Association, said they shall not leave the streets until KCCA has a clear plan for them.
Mr Mubiru said KCCA provides them with conflicting information, adding that one moment they are told to leave the streets and then later told that KCCA would allocate them specific streets to operate from.
He added that they are unable to afford the spaces in arcades and markets.
KCCA has made several attempts to get vendors off the streets in vain as vendors return minutes after law enforcement officers leave.
Section 72(1) of the Public Health Act cap 281 states that in the event of contravention of the any of the Public Health rules related to the erection of buildings, the local authority without prejudice has the right to take proceedings for a fine in respect of the contravention and may by notice require the owner either to pull down or remove the works.
Section 14 (1) of the Law and Order maintenance regulations 2006; a person shall not without a permit issued by Council erect a booth, burrow, table or stand on any pavement arcade, foot way or street.