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Roadside Vendors in Kitgum Municipality Evicted

Emmanuel Banya, Kitgum Municipal Council Town Clerk says the evicted vendors will be relocated to occupy a section of the lower taxi and bus terminal which is not fully operational.
Tonny Opio,one of the road side vendors relocated to Kitgum Main Buspark in Central Division.

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Kitgum Municipal Council authorities have started evicting roadside vendors from major streets.

The municipal enforcement officers kicked off the eviction operation on Monday in Central Division targeting several vendors trading along pager crescent road.

The authorities accuse the vendors selling on the pedestrian walkways of Pager River Bridge of operating illegally in an uncontrolled environment despite the surge in Coronavirus (covid-19) cases.

Emmanuel Banya, the Kitgum Municipal Council Town Clerk says the evicted vendors will be relocated to occupy a section of the lower taxi and bus terminal which is not fully operational.

Parts of the taxi and bus park remained vacant following the suspension of inter-district travel for 42 days by the government last week to contain the spread of covid-19.

Banya notes that the eviction is aimed at ensuring proper observance of the standard operating procedures in the wake of the second wave of covid-19 in the district and other parts of the country. 

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He says the Municipal Council authorities are conducting the eviction exercise to discourage street vending which makes the municipality looks untidy. 

Banya adds that the same exercise will be extended to two other divisions of Pager and Pandwong. 

The eviction hasn’t however pleased some of the vendors who say they have been pushed away at a time they are struggling to eke a living during the covid-19 pandemic partial lockdown.

Tonny Opio, one of the vendors dealing in belts and electronics who was evicted on Monday from Pager Bridge says he hasn’t made a single sale since Tuesday morning.

Opio says the situation is likely to affect his livelihood since the bus park where they have been relocated from having very few customers and dusty.

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Larok Ayewata, a mango vendor says the relocation has affected her business. Larok says she had just bought fresh mangoes at 20,000 Shillings for resale but hasn’t even made a single sale for the whole day.

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She says the Municipal officials should have given them time to sell the mangoes since the mango season is coming to an end while they observe all the Standard operating procedures.

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Municipal officials accompanied by security personnel on Tuesday also intensified the crackdown on market vendors within the central business district who are defying the guidelines on mask-wearing and observing social distance.

There are estimated over 100 roadside vendors operating illegally within the central division dealing in second-hand clothes, shoes, electronic appliances, vegetables, and fruits among others.