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Friday,October 23,2020 14:57 PM

Vendors Quit City Streets

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th April 2002 03:00 AM

A MASSIVE security operation yesterday drove vendors off the Kampala City streets without resistance.

A MASSIVE security operation yesterday drove vendors off the Kampala City streets without resistance.

By Vision Reporters A MASSIVE security operation yesterday drove vendors off the Kampala City streets without resistance. The vendors had vowed not to vacate the streets, warning of “war” if force was applied. Code-named Operation Safe City, the exercise comprised the Police, LDUs and Kampala City enforcement officers. Military Police had also benn deployed but withdrew later. “Wow! the streets have been liberated! What were these guys waiting for? KCC had handled these guys with kid gloves,” said a passerby at Luwuum Street. The streets were clean and clear, creating convenience for both pedestrians and motorists, especially at the usually impassable Luwuum, Dustar, Nakasero, Ben Kiwanuka, Burton streets and Kikuubo. Security officers, wearing tags, Operation Safe City, patrolled the streets, armed with batons. The Regional Police commander, Kampala, Ahmed Wafuba, and the Central Division chairman, Charles Sserunjogi who visited the scenes, said the exercise was a success. Five suspects were however arrested on Thursday after they caused a scuffle at Owino (St. Balikudembe) Market. Sserunjogi said those who will not be allocated stalls would be relocated to roving markets. The suspects had reportedly tried to grab stalls allocated to those affected by the eviction on Nakivubo Channel. The operation started in the wee hours of Thursday night, with all makeshift stalls loaded onto trucks and deposited outside Balikudembe market. But the vendors, under their umbrella organisation, Tukolebukozi, yesterday demanded that one street from St. Balikuddembe to Kisekka Market, be allocated to them on a daily basis. “We are all traders looking for business. That street would not affect activities in the city centre,” the vendors spokesman, Sowedi Nkonge, argued. Some vendors tried to sell their wares covertly behind construction sites. The New Vision team bought a handkerchief at the junction between Luwuum and Burton streets. Some streets were sealed off to avoid commotion during the exercise. Security officers dispersed small groups which were discussing the eviction. “In the past, lumpens poured acid on us. We don’t want a repeat of such incidents,” said Steven Tugume, a security officer. Shop owners, pleased about the operation, said there was ample space now for their customers. “If only the situation was like this, we would have no quarrels with the government,” said the traders’ chairman, Livingstone Zziwa. “This is just the beginning of their (street vendors) end. Our greatest weapon is the unity among traders, not the security and guns you may have seen.” A shop attendant on Luwuum Street also felt a sigh of relief. “Vendors have been just on the veranda and dealing in the same commodities we have, so at times we would get only one customer. I think we shall have good business, customers will soon start coming.” But some traders were bitter that they were refused to display their ware on verandas. Ends

Vendors Quit City Streets

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