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Traders protest licensing street vendors, hawkers

By Lawrence Mulondo, Bernard Oguti

Added 2nd July 2019 07:18 AM

The authority’s deputy director for gender and community services, Esau Garukande recently revealed that they had drafted the regulations of streets ordinance 2019, where vendors and hawkers will be registered and licensed to operate in the city.

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Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) enforcement officers loading goods they confiscated from vendors (File photo)

The authority’s deputy director for gender and community services, Esau Garukande recently revealed that they had drafted the regulations of streets ordinance 2019, where vendors and hawkers will be registered and licensed to operate in the city.

KAMPALA-Traders have protested Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) proposal to license street hawkers and vendors.
 
The authority’s deputy director for gender and community services, Esau Garukande recently revealed that they had drafted the regulations of streets ordinance 2019, where vendors and hawkers will be registered and licensed to operate in the city.
 
If the ordinance is passed and becomes operational, vendors will be required to register with KCCA, get an identification number and street vending license, with a uniform and pay a daily fee of sh514 to operate on streets.  The hawkers will also be registered with KCCA and pay daily dues of sh117.
 
However, traders operating in city arcades asked the authority councilors to halt the passing of the ordinance into law, saying this will affect traders in shops who pay high taxes and even escalate confusion on the streets.
 
Esther Nankunda, a trader dealing in new bags on Qualicel building, said KCCA should adjust the time when vendors must operate to avoid clashing with shop owners since many sell the same items.
 
“They should be allowed to operate from 6:00 am to 8:00 am and from 7:00 pm on awards. We should not compete with street vendors in selling the same products. These always sell their products cheaper because they invest less. They don’t pay rent,” she said. 
 akawa street vendors and hawkers during a meeting with  officials at akawa division head office on hursday Nakawa street vendors and hawkers during a meeting with KCCA officials at Nakawa division head office on Thursday

 

 
There are over 10,000 street vendors and hawkers in Kampala. They have been engaged in running battles with Police and KCCA law enforcement teams over illegal trade.
 
On August 4, 2017, one Oliver Basemera, a street vendor, plunged into Nakivubo drainage channel and died as she was allegedly running away from KCCA law enforcement officers.  Her family later sued KCCA and the Attorney General demanding sh810m compensation.
 
While the street vendors have welcomed KCCA’s proposal, show owners have always complained of vendors operating in front of their shops, saying it hinders their sales.  
 
The chairman Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), Everest Kayondo said if vendors are licensed to operate, they will display their merchandise at shop entrances and prohibit customers from accessing shops.
 
“This will also force all traders to carry their merchandise to the streets to get customers. We can not continue paying heavy rent fees, taxes and licenses when our customers are blocked by vendors,” he said.
 
Kayondo said street vendors should be relocated to already existing markets to operate at a low cost.
 
“If vendors cannot afford rent fees for arcades, they should take advantage of the weekly Sunday street market that KCCA put in place,” he advised. 
 
The Wandegeya market chairperson, Jonathan Gitta said markets are likely to be abandoned if the ordinance is passed into law.
 
“The Sunday market is enough for street vendors.  Allowing vendors outside organised markets will cause more chaos in the city which had been addressed,” he said.
 
What traders say
 
Justine Nasaazi, a dealer in clothes at Ham shopping grounds said vendors will make the city dirtier and leave the burden of cleaning to business owners with shops close to where they operate from.
 
Another trader at Qualicel, Ivan Ngono said the move is likely to increase crime on streets as many criminals will disguise themselves as vendors.
 
He suggested that all vendors should be allocated strategic areas where they can work outside the city centre, where they can be monitored easily to avoid criminals.
 
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