They threatened to follow suit by ‘pouring’ their merchandise on verandahs and on the streets to compete with the vendors who, they said, have big stocks and sell the same items at cheaper prices.
City traders have blamed Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) for failure to eliminate street vending, which they said was suffocating businesses of traders working in rented shops inside commercial arcades.
They threatened to follow suit by ‘pouring' their merchandise on verandahs and on the streets to compete with the vendors who, they said, have big stocks and sell the same items at cheaper prices.
Thaddeus Musoke Keno, the KACITA secretary-general said that the KCCA enforcement teams were hoodwinking traders by organizing operations to net street vendors but it was for showbiz because they end up returning the items to the same traders after some payment.
He said street vendors, some with bigger stocks, continued to enjoy big sales on the streets of Kampala, many times operating outside arcades where people pay high rental fees.
"Most arcades have been opened and traders have gone back to their shops, what reason can KCCA give for letting such a big number of vendors on the streets," Musoke asked.
He was reacting to an operation on Friday conducted by a team of KCCA enforcement officers assisted by the police.
A police officer on the team stated that the ‘routine' operations followed complaints by traders inside shopping malls and arcades that cheaper goods were being sold outside their shops, thereby preventing people from entering arcades.
"We are targeting all those selling on the streets, mainly dealing in shoes, garments and hardware items," an officer said.
But many traders said after confiscating the stocks, vendors usually follow the KCCA trucks and claim their goods after bribing the officers in charge.
"We have written a number of letter to the outgoing directors and his deputies but nothing much has been done, we are now preparing to petition the new executive director, Dorothy Kisaka to help us and reign over these vendors," Musoke stated, adding that street vending is illegal and KACITA detests it because it stifles businesses of traders who pay taxes to Uganda Revenue Authority and rent.
He appealed to Kisaka to bring onboard representatives from the business community to move together with the KCCA enforcement teams to ensure they eliminate the vice.
"The more organized operations will also ensure hawkers and vendors do not destroy the non-motorized transport corridors, which have been turned into shops," Musoke explained, adding that if they fail, traders were threatening to take their goods back on the streets.
Musoke said alternatively, KCCA can help relocate the vendors outside the Central Business District by building low-cost lockups in the suburbs, which he said would as well help to decongest the city.