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Kampala traders call off protest

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd September 2011 03:00 AM

CITY traders under their body Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have called off their planned protest activities, after KCCA promised to restore trade order in the Central Business District.

CITY traders under their body Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have called off their planned protest activities, after KCCA promised to restore trade order in the Central Business District.

By Brian Mayanja and Miriam Ochakolong

CITY traders under their body Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have called off their planned protest activities, after KCCA promised to restore trade order in the Central Business District.

Speaking at the press conference at KACITA head office yesterday, Issa Ssekitto, the association spokesperson said traders had agreed at their last meeting to sell their merchandise on the streets starting on Thursday, to compete with the street vendors and hawkers.

“We had given Government up to the end of August to deal with this issue. We had agreed to move out our shops and start carrying out businesses on the streets,”he added.

In August 31 letter, the executive director KCCA Jennifer Musisi advised KACITA to halt their planned move because their issue was being actively addressed.

“Following consultations with Government and other key stake holders a plan and a series of actions have been laid out to restore order in the Centre Business District, which include the identification of alternative trading places for vendors,” Musisi stated.

On Wednesday KCCA issued a new directive to street vendors and hawkers to leave the streets by Sunday or face forceful eviction.

“Kampala Capital City Authority has issued a deadline of 4th September 2011 for all illegal street vendors and hawkers to leave the street,” the notice partly reads.

Musisi said Police and other security agencies shall begin operations to clear the city of illegal street vendors by the end of this week.

She also told leaders from KACITA who have agents on the streets as vendors to lead by example by withdrawing from the illegal activities.

She said the presence of hawkers and vendors was posing a security threat to the city.

Musisi said the Authority had identified over 8,000 spaces in 69 city markets where the vendors can sell their merchandise.

Over 8,500 street vendors are estimated to be operating in the city’s central business district alone. Most of them operate along pavements, road reserves and outside shopping centres.

“In this era of terrorism and bomb threats, we need to control and regulate the number of illegal street vendors. No one knows the kind of merchandise that they trade in,” she said.

Musisi argued that the eviction was part of a wider plan to ensure trade order in the city, in accordance with the Trade Order Ordinance, 2006.

She explained that the move would help to reduce congestion that clogs the city, especially during peak hours, and protect consumers from fake products sold on the streets.

Most of the vendors trade in small household items including clothes, pastries, beverages and shoes among others.

Ssekitto said some politicians were benefiting from vending business.

“This vice has persisted on the streets because every evening some politicians solicit money from vendors. But since the president assured us that they are going to be allocated outside the city centre, KACITA think trade order will be restored,”Ssekitto said.

He asked KCCA after evicting vendors on the streets, it should also curb down all mobile hawking vehicles.

Kampala traders call off protest

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