Mbarara Street Vendors Protest Relocation

2102 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
At the beginning of last month, Mbarara Municipal Council temporarily gazetted the former Horizon Bus Park located on Mbaguta Street in Mbarara town as the convenient place for vendors to transact business. But the vendors claim they are not making any sales from the gazetted area

Vendors in Mbarara town are crying foul after the municipality authorities ordered them off the streets.

Most of the affected vendors are Congolese nationals dealing in jewelry. Other affected vendors deal in shoes, clothing, and fresh foods.

At the beginning of last month, Mbarara Municipal Council temporally gazetted the former Horizon Bus Park located on Mbaguta Street in Mbarara town as the convenient place for vendors to transact business.

But the vendors claim they are not making any sales from the gazetted area and returned to the streets accusing authorities of relocating them to a place which is not easily accessible for customers.

Mama Rosemary Dodi one of the vendors from Nakivale refugee settlement in Isingiro district says prior to the relocation, she was making sales worth UGX 50,000 but has failed to earn the same amount over the last two weeks. She attributes the poor sales to the inaccessible location of the market.

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Another vendor, Grace Mwanamwolo says she has resolved to return to the streets but will play hide and seek to avoid being arrested by law enforcement officers

She says she does not have the capacity to rent a shop or even a stall in the market. She is however pleading with municipal authorities to relocate them to a better place that can be easily accessible

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Mohammed Byansi the councilor representing Nyamityobora ward in Mbarara municipality says council action followed complaints from shop owners accusing vendors of snatching their customers while vending their commodities on streets.
 
Byansi adds that the decision to relocate street vendors has been long overdue since they make the town untidy.

Mbarara municipality town clerk Johnson Munono maintains that vendors must leave the streets.