Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has embarked on road drives to implore vendors to voluntarily vacate the streets within one week.
Sound trucks are driving around the central business district warning vendors against operating on the streets and asking them to take advantage of the waiver on operational fees to get space in the markets. Last year, the government suspended the collection of market dues in its markets in Kampala.
Currently, the vendors are only required to pay utility bills like water and electricity. Robert Kalumba, the Deputy KCCA Spokesperson says street vendors have a week to visit markets and get space.
He however couldn’t tell how many vendors are on the streets and to which specific markets they should go.
Apparently, USAFI and Wandegeya Central Market are only ones with some empty stalls. However, a number of vendors shunned USAFI, saying that they do not make as much money as they do on the streets. Wandegeya Central Market also has several vacant stalls since the vendors for whom it was constructed abandoned it on grounds that it was expensive. They also argued that the shops on the last floors don’t attract customers.
While some vendors are willing to leave the streets, many insist that KCCA should only guide them on where to operate on the streets and when. They say they cannot go back to markets they abandoned when the issues they raised then have not been resolved.
Ismail Mubiru, the chairperson FUBA TUKOLE Vendors Association, says that the Authority lacks a clear plan. He says they have no problem leaving the street as vendors but they want it done in an organized manner.
He says that with the current situation in the markets it will be difficult for them to take up stalls that were designed without their input. He also claims that the association has over 15,000 members and all of them want to get licensed by the authority.
In 2019 KCCA drafted the Street Vendors and Hawkers Ordinance to streamline activities of street vendors and hawkers. The ordinance provides for days and hours street vendors and hawkers shall be permitted to operate and the streets to use.
The ordinance also requires the vendors to acquire a license from KCCA and use uniforms to identify them depending on the divisions, in which they are licensed to operate. The City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago says it is incorrect for KCCA to take vendors off the streets without a clear plan to resettle them. Lukwago says that the move is unsustainable.
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