Division Withdraws Plan of Evicting Roadside Vendors

2173 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Authorities in the division of Kimaanya-Kabakuza in Masaka municipality have reversed a resolution to evict roadside vendors from Kyabakuza town centre.

Authorities in the division of Kimaanya-Kyabakuza in Masaka municipality have reversed a resolution to evict roadside vendors from Kyabakuza town centre.
Last year, the division council had resolved to relocate more than 200 roadside vendors operating along the Mbarara- Masaka highway in Kyabakuza town, a suburb of Masaka Municipality, into a gazetted market place.
Council based on the assumption that vendors were causing a lot of confusion in the town, blocking proper flow of traffic on the road, as well harboring criminals in their kiosks and stalls.
Authorities preferred allocating them another site 0.3 kilometers away from the town, and had given the vendors an ultimatum of June this year to vacate the road.
But Hajji Ali Matovu, the chairperson for Kimanya- Kyabakuza division, says council revisited its stand and withdrew the resolution to the effect.
Hajji Matovu says that the decision to cancel the decision was based on financial challenges involved in relocating the vendors. The vendors also vehemently opposed the resolution. 
He explains that division had planned to put up commercial stalls in the new market place, but they have failed to raise even half of the money required to do this.
He reveals that they needed 200 million shillings for the work, but apparently the division treasury does not have the money. 
He says that they have instead decided to make sure that the vendors preserve law and order the town while transacting their businesses on the road.
But according to Fiasal Sseruwagi, the division youths councillor, the division had not even made careful study of the situation before passing the resolution.
Sseruwagi argues that the division has more pressing priorities like accumulated garbage, poor roads, improving sanitation which that have not been addressed, than to waste time on roadside vendors.
But Francis Ssebbale, the defence secretary of the Kyabakuza Roadside Vendors' Association, says regardless of the withdrawal of the resolution, they were not ready to leave the side of the road.

He explains that they deal in perishable commodities that need ready market, targeting passengers who make stopover at the junction at this highway.