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Roadside Vendors in Gulu City 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 security personnel.
An empty part of the Gulu-Kampala highway shortly after the eviction of roadside vendors. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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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 security personnel.    

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 gatherings.   

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.

 

Luo Byte

//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 markets.  

//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.

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