According to Ssali , once vendors have identification cards, it’s even easier to follow them up with lawyers or even relatives and families in case of arrest.
Sections of people from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called for issuance of identification cards to street vendors in a bid to formalise and streamline their operations.
This, they said will also enhance effective planning as well as increased service delivery to them by the Government.
“Some vendors are often mixed up with criminals every time they are arrested because they cannot easily be identified.
You find that out of every hundreds of vendors arrested, criminals make up a big percentage of them,” said Edith Ssali, the executive director for Women Leadership Development (WLEDE).
According to Ssali , once vendors have identification cards, it’s even easier to follow them up with lawyers or even relatives and families in case of arrest. Ssali said vendors lack legal representation.
During a workshop that took place at Kolping Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday morning, she said there have been several cases of inhumane treatment of vendors by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) law enforcement officers.
She said, a better approach should be thought of.“The arrests are brutal and sometimes result into death of the victims or permanent injuries. The death of a female vendor while running away from law enforcement officers was one case, but many others go unnoticed,” said Ssali.
CSOs follow the recent announcement by Kampala Minister Beti Kamya, where she ordered vendors out of streets and directed city authorities to apprehend the offenders.
While addressing a press conference at Uganda Media Centre, Kamya wondered why the public continued to support street vendors by buying their merchandise.
However, Stella Biwaga, the WLEDE’s programme officer noted that it’s difficult for government to plan for them because a vendor census has not been carried out.
“You can’t tell how many vendors we have, either in central business district or divisions. So it becomes difficult for instance to tell the number of vendors that KCCA has to deal with or those involved in vending business,” said Biwaga.
When asked who should meet the cost of issuing out identification cards, she said the programme should be implemented by government in partnership with other partners.