More than 500 roadside vendors in Gulu City have been evicted.
The vendors who majorly operate along the Gulu-Kampala highway, Olailong,
Custom, Ring Road among other roads spent Tuesday in running battles with the
Denis Odongpiny, the Gulu Resident City Commissioner who ordered the eviction
said that the roadside business was drawing hundreds of vendors and buyers
which were in contravention of the presidential directive banning public
He explained that the security together with Gulu City authorities agreed that
if the vendors are allowed to operate, it would facilitate the spread of
coronavirus disease in the area since it is uncontrolled with no observance of
the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Gulu City is among the areas that have been registering the highest cases of COVID-19
during the second wave.
Odongpiny said that the roadside business would not be allowed until further
resolutions from the city council and security authorities.
//Cue in: ‘’ma wa waci…
Cue out: …jimi pa dano.’’//
Edward Kiwanuka Guava the Gulu City Town Clerk asked the roadside
vendors to occupy stalls and lock-ups in different markets within the city.
However, the decision has angered several roadside vendors who say
that they have also been paying dues to the city council and would also step up
their efforts in observing the SOPs if given a chance.
Janet Alimo, a second-hand cloth dealer, cried out that the eviction was premature
and will leave her in losses. She explains that the roadside business was more
promising than in the gazetted markets as she would raise over 300,000
shillings on a good day.
In April this year, the Gulu City market traders tasked the new leadership to
evict vendors from the streets and roadsides.
They argued that the presence of the vendors has affected their business,
noting that since most commodities are scattered along the different streets
within Gulu City, most people prefer buying from street vendors.
Santos Obura, the Gulu Market Vendors SACCOS General Secretary says that the
continued presence and operation of roadside and street vendors had prevented
customers from going to buy merchandise from the markets.
He explained that this had 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
//Cue in: ‘’freedom of street…
Cue out: …in streets fixed.’’//
The majority of the roadside vendors 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.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc