By Henry Sekanjako and Paul Kiwuuwa
THE Parliamentary committee on tourism, trade and industry has asked Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to designate streets in Kampala where hawkers can gather and sell their merchandise.
According to the MPs, the hawkers cannot afford rent and trading license fees for modern markets set up by KCCA around Kampala.
“As KCCA, you need to designate organized zones for these groups, hawkers cannot fit in the financial bracket of people those who can afford rent for modern markets so it’s better you get them special areas where they can operate and earn a living,” said Felix Okot Ogongo the Dokolo county MP.
The MPs also proposed that regulations to protect hawkers be included in the KCCA Act to differentiate them from other traders.
“We need to come up with regulations to protect hawkers because they cannot afford to pay market trading licenses yet at the same time they need to earn a living,” said Flavia Kabahenda the committee chairperson also the Kyegegwa district woman MP.
The legislators who were yesterday meeting officials from KCCA on the trade (licensing) Amendment bill 2012 also tasked KCCA to register the number of hawkers in Kampala for easy implementation of the proposal.
The MPs, urged KCCA to take a case study of developed countries like United Kingdom London where hawkers are designated special roads to sale their merchandise.
“Set three or two days for hawkers to sale their merchandise, by doing so you will be giving them an opportunity to earn a living. This will reduce on crime which comes with unemployment among the youth,” said John Ssimbwa the Makindye East MP.
However, in response to the MPs proposal, KCCA officials led by Phoebe Kamya director revenue, told MPs that the proposal was being standard by KCCA.
“KCCA has got to find specific areas, if the hawkers are to be gazzated. So many people are taking advantage of Road reserve areas such as the railway lines which cannot be designated for hawkers,” said Kamya.
She noted that KCCA would first look out for possible roads which can be gazatted to allow hawkers carry out their trade.
In 2011, KCCA banned vendors and hawkers from operating on the streets, pavements and road reserves to create trade order in the city.