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Wobulenzi Vendors Protest Proposed Eviction

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Recently, Wobulenzi town council embarked on plans to restore order in the town council and started enforcing measures to enable the town council to qualify for a municipal status.
Moses Ssebalamu Kayondo the LC 3 Chairperson of Wobulenzi town council speaking on quest for municipal status.

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Vendors in Wobulenzi town council are up in arms against their proposed eviction as the authorities reorganize the town in their quest for a municipal status.

Recently, Wobulenzi town council embarked on plans to restore order in the town council and started enforcing measures to enable the town council to qualify for a municipal status. 

The town council relocated the lorry park and fruit vendors from the town center to Katikamu Gala and Luzzi zones respectively. 

The town council also issued a fresh eviction notice to more than 500 roadside vendors operating along Kampala-Gulu highway and town center every Friday. 

The vendors under Wobulenzi farmers' market have up to October 28th 2016 to relocate to one acre piece of land in Kikoma zone. The authorities have also put timber dealers on notice to relocate from the town council to Kikoma zone before January 2017.   

The town council has contracted Realtec Consults Limited at the tune of Shillings 57 million to draw new structural and detailed plans showing land use in the town. 

Moses Kayondo Ssebalamu, the Wobulenzi town council LC 3 Chairperson, says the vendors interfere with traffic flow along Kampala-Gulu highway and also expose their lives to accidents.

Ssebalamu believes that once the changes are effected, it will enable the council to meet some of the physical planning requirements for elevation to a municipal status.

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However, more than 500 roadside vendors operating along the Kampala-Gulu highway and Police road in Wobulenzi town are protesting the proposed eviction. They want the town council to stay the push for the municipality status until their grievances are addressed. 

Erasto Kaddu, one of the affected vendors, says the proposed changes are being rushed since they were never consulted. He also says the place they have been allocated to operate from is found in a wetland and too small.

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Robert Kayiwa, another vendor says the proposed site is not strategic for business and located in a corner, which may expose them to fatal accidents.

Bashir Kintu, another vendor accuses the town council of demanding for Shillings 70,000 for fresh registration and space, which is unfair to poor vendors.

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Fredrick Ssegujja, a shop owner has welcomed the proposed relocation of vendors. According to Ssegujja, the vendors are angry because they fight for customers with shop owners to sell general merchandise by the roadside yet they are expected to sell farm produce.

The vendors have threatened to stage protests to block their eviction.  In 2011, Wobulenzi town council attempted to evict the vendors in vain. However, the authorities say they are ready to push through with their plans. 

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