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Gulu City Market Traders Want Street Vendors Evicted

Patrick Omaya, the Market Vendors` Chairperson wants the new Gulu City Council leadership to prioritize abandoning roadside and street vending immediately when they assume offices in May this year.
Omaya handing over the petition to Olak (in yellow). Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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Gulu City market traders have tasked the new leadership to evict vendors from the streets and roadsides. They argue that the presence of the vendors has affected their business. 

The traders note that, since most commodities are scattered along the different streets within Gulu City, most people prefer buying from street vendors.

  There are more than 4,000 market vendors under the leadership of Patrick Omaya who are operating in Gulu City in the markets of Cereleno, Gulu Main Market, Layibi, Bardege, Kabedopong and Olailong among others.   

Santos Obura, the Gulu Market Vendors SACCOS General Secretary says that the continued presence and operation of roadside and street vendors are preventing customers from going to buy merchandise from the markets.  

He explained that this has left many of the market traders with low or no sales yet they are paying exorbitant market dues to the council authorities. 

Obura added that the market vendors are concerned that the roadside and street vendors also sell substandard goods and at low prices, something which has deterred customers from going for better and highly-priced goods in the markets. 

//Cue in: ‘’freedom of street…  

Cue out: …in streets fixed.’’//   

Patrick Omaya, the Market Vendors` Chairperson wants the new Gulu City Council leadership to prioritize evicting roadside and street vending immediately when they assume office next month.

He demanded that the roadside and street vendors be tasked to occupy free stalls within the markets since many of them still have plenty of vacant space.   

However, Alfred Okwonga the Gulu City Lord Mayor-elect said they have several programs for the city as they prepare to assume duties in May this year citing that it was yet early to disclose before taking over their offices.   

Meanwhile, some of the street and roadside vendors along Gulu-Kampala Highway in Pece-Laroo division have protested the proposed noting that they also pay dues to the council.   

Martin Okech, one of the street vendors says that they do not affect in any way the progress of business within the markets but it is all about good customer care and values of sold items.   

There are hundreds of roadside vendors occupying either side of the Gulu-Kampala highway.  

The majority of them start their business at noon hours until late in the night. Most of them sell their items cheaply as compared to those sold in the market.

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