-: Mar 19, 2016 / webstar

KACITA, KCCA on collision course over street vendors

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Traders who are incurring lots of expenses like trade licenses, rent, income tax, garbage collection fees, are being subjected to unfair competition from the street vendors

Traders under their umbrella body Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have given Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) up to the end of this week to evict vendors from the city streets or they take industrial action.

“We have written to KCCA, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and the Inspector General of Police over the matter. If this week elapses without any action taken against street vendors, we shall summon the business community to make a resolution on what action should be taken” KACITA chairperson Everest Kayondo told New Vision in a telephone interview.

Kayondo was not sure of the resolution that they will take but said that they are most likely to move their merchandise to the middle of the streets and block all the traffic.

There had been order in the city but both the December festive season and the general elections period saw a surge in the number of street vendors transacting business in the city.

He also stressed that traders who are incurring lots of expenses like trade licenses, rent, income tax, garbage collection fees, are being subjected to unfair competition from the street vendors.

He explained that traders are supposed to get protection from the authorities but when KACITA approached KCCA before elections at a time when the vendors had just started flooding the streets, they promised to take action after elections, something they have not done yet.

“This left me wondering why someone would allow law breaking before they could get support from the public,” Kayondo said.

“We are getting several complaints about the quality of goods sold by those vendors but we cannot assist the complaining customers because they are not able to locate where they purchased the goods. If they had purchased those goods from known places, we would force the sellers to either refund the money or replace the goods with genuine products,” he added.

He also decried the poor hygiene in the city and the security of their clients that is at risk due to the huge number of people along the streets.

Efforts to get a comment from KCCA spokesperson Peter Kauju were futile as our calls were unanswered.

However, in a different media report, Kauju said that they had not permitted anybody to operate any business along city streets, and hence those doing so are operating illegally.

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