John Ssebaana Kizito Road (former Nakivubo Mews) and Allen Road in Kampala’s Central Division will be gazetted for street vendors, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) acting executive director, Mr Andrew Kitaka, has said.
“We are gazetting the roads because we want to clear all the streets of vendors. But this will be done after carrying out an assessment of how they will operate. We don’t want them to interfere with businesses of other people. We will work closely with the directorates of gender, public health and physical planning to prepare these roads,” Mr Kitaka told journalists in Kampala yesterday.
He said the vendors will operate under close supervision of KCCA authorities to ensure order.
Mr Kitaka admitted the city does not have enough working spaces but added that they will have space to accommodate street vendors upon completion of Busega and Kasubi markets in Rubaga Division.
He did not say when the vendors will start working from the two roads.
Mr Kitaka said the authority will organise a detailed programme to relocate the vendors.
The debate to gazette some streets for vendors has been on for some time. In 2016, KCCA Council resolved that some city roads be gazetted to accommodate street vendors during evening hours.
However, former Kampala minister Beti Olive Kamya rejected the resolution on grounds that the arrangement would inconvenience other traders and motorists.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago then said street vendors should be reorganised in specific places instead of evicting them.
“Even developed countries have these street vendors but in properly gazetted places. Instead of forcefully evicting them, let’s find for ways of reorganising them because there are no adequate working spaces in the city for now where all those people can operate,” he said.
Mr Godfrey Katongole, the chairperson of Kampala Arcade Traders Association (Kata), welcomed the decision but said the city authority should first engage traders about how the programme will be rolled out to avoid clashes.
In 2014, KCCA bought Usafi market to accommodate street vendors. However, they said the Usafi and Wandegeya markets are not favourable due to high rent.
A stall in Usafi market is rented at Shs65,000 per month while shops cost Shs300,000 and Shs180,000 depending on size and location. An open space goes for only Shs1,000 per day. At Wandegeya market, rent for lock-up shops ranges from Shs210, 000 and 175,000 a month depending on size while stalls cost between Shs70,000 and Shs56,000.
KCCA, vendors clashes
In November 2014, there was chaos at City Hall following the death of a child whose mother, a street vendor, had been arrested and brought to KCCA court.
The child crawled outside while the mother was appearing before the magistrate and hid under the KCCA vehicle in the parking. When the driver reversed the car, it knocked the child dead.
In November 2016, KCCA suspended four law enforcement officers for allegedly manhandling a street vendor on Ben Kiwanuka Street. A video of her brutal arrest later attracted criticism from the public. In August 2017, Ms Olivia Basemera, a street vendor, drowned in Nakivubo channel as she was being pursued by KCCA law enforcement officers. The accused officers were charged before Nakawa court.