Wobulenzi Vendors Back On The Road

1767 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
The Wobulenzi roadside vendors, who were evicted yesterday for defying by town council officials, have been allowed to go back on streets.

The Wobulenzi roadside vendors, who were evicted yesterday for defying by town council officials, have been allowed to go back on streets.
Over 200 roadside vendors were evicted and their goods impounded for failing to abide by the time regulations set by the town council. According to the regulations, roadside vendors are supposed to work from 3pm to 7am to allow their colleagues who own stalls to also work. But the roadside vendors were working for whole day.

Wobulenzi town council officials wanted to relocate the vendors but the vendors today stormed the town council offices today to protest the idea. They demanded for their goods, which had been confiscated during the eviction.

The town clerk, Joseph Ssebudde agreed to let them go back on the streets but after setting conditions for them. Ssebudde told them that they must agree to work from 3pm to midnight, clean their places of work daily, pay 3000 shillings as medical checkup fees and paint their work tables among others.

However, the vendors protested the conditions and some have refused to endorse the document stipulating the above conditions.

Harriet Namwanje, one of the vendors describes the conditions as harsh and unbearable for low income vendors. She explains that the vendors maximize their profits late in the night because that is when the highway drivers stop and buy from them.

She says that the order will lead to the decline in their profits and failure to pay daily taxes to the town council.

The shop owners are meanwhile also protesting the decision to let roadside vendors back onto the streets. John Kirya, one of the shop owners says that the vendors attract a big number of customers and block them from coming to the shops.
Kirya explains that they incurring losses yet they are expected to pay high taxes. He says that the shop owners pay 80,000 shillings in trading license fees and 10,000 shillings per year as local service tax whereas the roadside vendors pay 500 shillings per day.

Both shop owners and vendors called on the town council to build a permanent roadside market to ease the tensions between the two sides.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.