During the clampdown that was enforced by the Central division authorities, police and law enforcement officers were overwhelmed by rowdy altercations as the street vendors resisted the eviction. Some were seen running around with their goods while others had their merchandise thrown on the streets.
operating along Pager Cresent Road in the Central Division of Kitgum
Municipality on Monday engaged security and division authorities in running
battles during a forceful eviction from the streets.
clampdown that was enforced by the Central division authorities,
police and law enforcement officers were overwhelmed by rowdy altercations as the
street vendors resisted the eviction. Some were seen running around with their goods while others had their merchandise thrown on the streets.
came hours after the vendors mainly dealing in fruits and vegetables were requested to vacate the main bus
park where they have been operating since the second lockdown against
coronavirus was imposed. Alfred Ocan the General Secretary of
Kitgum Market Vendors Association says the affected vendors were operating at
the bus park on a recommendation of the district COVID-19 task force.
According to Ocan, following the partial lifting of the lockdown by President Yoweri Museveni last week,
the authorities of the bus park asked the vendors to vacate the space. Ocan, however,
says that they did not have an alternative apart from returning to the streets
since there is no adequate space to accommodate them in the two
temporary satellite markets that were established to pave way for the
construction of the main market.
//Cue in; “ki
Cue out….odongo kany.”//
Ricard Gimei, the Chairperson of the street vendors says they are unhappy with the way they were handled by the enforcement officers. Gimei says they lost merchandise worth millions of shillings during the clampdown
and have petitioned the offices of the Mayor and the Resident District Commissioner to intervene in their grievances.
says they opted to relocate to the streets since there was no alternative place
offered to them to operate after being evicted from the bus park.
Kidega-Chalo, the Senior Assistant Town Clerk for Central Division however says
the operation was in line with a council resolution against illegal trading
activities along the streets, road reserves and side walkways.
Kidega-Chalo, the continued presence of the street vendors has been creating
disorder in the town, a traffic worry and hygiene concerns due to poor garbage
disposal and drainage blockage by refuse being produced by the street vendors.
that despite several pleas for the vendors to vacate the streets or risk
forceful eviction, they have remained defiant and abusive against the law
enforcers and continued to display their merchandise on the streets.
//Cue in; “since
The Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech
confirms having received the street vendors' concerns although he condemned the use of force and destruction of merchandise which he
pledged to investigate and sanction appropriate action of the perpetrators.
Komakech says his office has directed the division and
municipal authority to look for another optional space to temporarily
accommodate the affected vendors amidst ensuring that the standard operating
procedures to contain the coronavirus pandemic are adhered to.