KCCA extends deadline for street vendors to vacate city

Vegetable vendors on Kampala streets. Photo Credit, the Independent

Kampala, Uganda | THE HUSTLER | The Kampala City Resident Commissioner-RCC Hussein Hud has extended the day on which a crack-down on street vendors will commence to 10th January.

While addressing the press at the Uganda Media Center, the RCC branded the trade of hawking and vending as illegal, a label that street vendors that human rights activist and street vendors view as elitist.   

Last year Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA and the office of the RCC directed vendors to leave the streets.

The RCC further added that if the vendors wish to sell their goods in the city, they should get working space in commercial buildings, shops and city markets where they shall be licensed to operate their businesses.

These comments did not go well with Ms. Sophia Nabossa, the Team Leader at Hustlers’ Transformation Initiave, an organisation that advocates for informal workers’ rights. “The RCC does not understand ecosystem of street vendors. He is out of touch with reality. How do you expect a street vendor selling handkerchiefs worth 5,000 shillings to pay for space in a mall?.”

Most street vendors are found in the central business district selling food stuffs, utensils, stationary, clothes and shoes among other items.

The RCC said that the existence of street vendors and hawkers possess a security threat to the city as terrorists could disguise themselves as vendors to cause harm to people. He further noted that the criminals engaging in petty offenses like snatching bags and phones from people on the streets could also disguise as street vendors or hawkers.

However, Isma Mubiru, a hawker and the chairman Fuba Tukola Hawkers and Vendors Association said that they shall not leave the streets until KCCA has a clear plan for them.  Mubiru insists that KCCA gives them conflicting information, at one moment they are told to leave the streets and then later told that KCCA would allocate them specific streets to operate from.

“For us we have no problem working from 4pm. But we are not ready to leave the streets just like that. We also want to work,” said Mubiru before adding that several of his colleagues cannot afford getting space in arcades around town.