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Olive: How Viable Is Returning The Hawkers To Kampala Streets?

Months after evicting street hawkers off Kampala streets in the Kampala Capital City (KCCA)’s Smart City Campaign, the Authority Executive Director Dorothy Kisakka considered returning the vendors to the streets in an orderly manner.

The vendors on Thursday last week were delighted to hear KCCA’s designed plan to return hawkers and vendors onto the streets of Kampala after driving them off earlier this year for congesting and dirtying the streets.

According to the new plan, the hawkers and vendors will have specific places to vend their products, have proper identification, and remit taxes to the council.

Commenting on the plan, The Fatboy Show presenter Olive Najjuma queried the significance of the decision, saying it replicates the same situation that KCCA had earlier gotten rid of.

“How viable will returning the hawkers to the streets be? We have arcades where people are paying rent and taxes. Most of these are not full. There are markets like the one in Wandegeya that are almost empty. So why allow vendors back to the road, yet these places are empty and the free market spaces?”

Her co-host James Onen popularly known as Fatboy reasoned that returning the hawkers to the streets was absurd.

“It appears that markets and arcade traders may go out of business because of the competition from the roadside hawkers/ vendors and now the online shops. Many things can now be bought online via Whatsapp and Facebook, although it is a smaller demographic.” Fatboy explained.

However, Pius, a contributor on the show, welcomed the idea of returning hawkers and vendors to the streets because they vacated them before designating areas for them to operate.

“I think they have realized that its impractical to chase hawkers off the streets because the traders in arcades who complained of competition with hawkers who weren’t paying taxes lost customers because the hawkers purchased the goods from arcades and sold them to pedestrians,” Pius said.

He, therefore, thought it was a good plan that the KCCA had come up with and suggested the release of hawkers and vendors that had been arrested for operating on the streets.

The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.

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