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Kasese Hawkers Plead for Mercy After Govt Ban

According to a circular to all Resident District Commissioners, City Commissioners, District Police Commanders and District Internal Security Officers, the minister said that they had received information about criminals masquerading as hawkers in villages, especially in Western Uganda. He advised that such trading should be restricted to trading centres.
Minister of Security Directed that the business of selling items in villages should not be allowed as it is a source of insecurity

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Hawkers in Kasese have pleaded with the government to reconsider its directive to ban them from trading in villages. This follows a directive issued by security Minister Maj. Gen Jim Muhwezi banning hawking in villages.

According to a circular to all Resident District Commissioners, City Commissioners, District Police Commanders and District Internal Security Officers, the minister said that they had received information about criminals masquerading as hawkers in villages, especially in Western Uganda. He advised that such trading should be restricted to trading centres.

But hawkers in the district argue that their business is usually based on low capital investment and targets customers that are far from retail and wholesale dealers within trading centres. They suggest that instead of this restriction, the government should streamline their operations. 

Enock Byamukama, one of the hawkers said that such a directive comes as a huge setback to youths like him who have ventured into the hawking business because they have little capital. He says that they have an organized association that security can instead use to monitor their operations or open up opportunities for them to venture into other businesses. 

//Cue in; “Kubanga sinza kubere…

Cue out… okimpe nkikole.”//

Jeremiah Kombi, another hawker from Kasese Town says that he has a customer base in the outskirts of the town and once vending is restricted to trading centres and towns, he cannot compete with bigger and established traders because his capital cannot support him to start any other business.

//Cue in; “Capital gwenina…  

Cue out…okilabira dala.”//  

Julius Sasirabu, another hawker says that it’s important for the minister to reconsider his directive and focus on formally registering all hawkers.  He thinks once they are registered and given identity cards, it will be easy even among themselves to deal with criminals hiding in their business.  

//Cue in; “Mbire ninsaba nti…  

Cue out...ninga oryomusuma.”//

Daniel Kule, a cosmetic hawker says that the directive is un-timely given the economic struggle that many people are going through after the lockdown. He is hesitant to leave trading his cosmetics in villages where he says there are better sales.

Kasese Resident District Commissioner Lt. Joe Walusimbi told URN that he has summoned all GISO’s for a meeting to discuss how the directive will be implemented. He says they will not compromise with the directive and he expects all vendors to comply or else wind up their business. 

//Cue in; “Whoever feels that… 

Cue out…they will accept.”// 

In 2011 the then Minister of Defence Dr Crispus Kiyonga ordered all hawkers to stop operating in villages on account that some could be anti-government spies. The minister then directed members of the security organs in the country to arrest any hawker found transacting business in the village.

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