As a way of decongesting the streets and ensuring order in the city, the Kampala RCC Hudu Hussein on Wednesday gave street vendors in Kampala an ultimatum to vacate the streets within 5 days.
Initially, the order had been passed in December 2021, asking street vendors to relocate to Usafi and Wandegeya markets before 10th January, a date that was extended by a week; which the RCC clarified that failure to leave by the date will have the vendors forced off by the security forces.
Commenting on the subject, RX Radio Presenter Apollo Sarah said that whereas she likes purchasing items from street vendors, bringing order to the city is paramount.
However, as a matter of concern, some vendors said that they couldn't relocate due to limited spaces within the markets which Sarah thought could be solved by allocating market days in town for hawkers to sell their goods.
“Perhaps to solve this situation, maybe some days should be allocated where some streets are closed off and vendors are permitted to sell their items, just like it was before the pandemic when the street below Mutaasa Kafeero mall would be closed off on Sundays and it would be like a one huge market day,” Sarah commented.
The hawkers also raised a concern related to the unavailability of parking space and the location of the markets which they said were way out of the business area.
However, according to Sarah, the excuse of market locations wasn't viable, noting that people working from markets such as Wandegeya and Owino still get clients. “People in Wandegeya, St. Balikuddembe and Usafi market downtown are thriving because a lot of people go there to shop. So, I don't think that is a good excuse.”
“And KCCA,” she continued, “has been sensitizing the vendors for a whole month since December. I think however unfortunate it might be, it's about time.”
James Onen aka Fatboy also commented on the subject saying that he won't be affected by the eviction of vendors from Kampala streets since he does most of his shopping online.
Sarah admitted that she uses online platforms only occasionally because of ‘trust issues.’
“Many times the picture online is not what the actual item looks like. The product might look amazing in the picture and when you receive it, it’s of poor quality. I want to see, touch, check and take my time because shopping is a process that can't be rushed,” she concluded.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.