District Commissioner- RDC Patrick Okumu has barred hawkers from accessing and
selling goods around government offices citing security concerns.
Okumu says that some
of the hawkers are spies who access offices with intentions of stealing while
others hatch plans that compromise security in the district.
His decision comes barely a week after the theft of computers from the district
production department by unknown people.
According to Okumu, the theft was
conducted in a manner that would not raise any suspicion probably spies
including hawkers who have free access to the offices
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Joyce Ayo, a fruit vendor in Soroti says that the decision by the RDC will
render most of them jobless. She said that although the RDC raises security
concerns, there should have been better ways of averting such crime other than
banning their businesses.
“I have been in this business for more than seven years and I have more than 30
customers who drink my juice every day in government offices. It’s not a fair
decision to us”, she said.
Some of the district staff who talked to our reporter on condition of anonymity
said that whereas the decision is for security reasons, it going to be costly for
them to leave offices every day to look for food in restaurants.
In 2019, the Ministry of Health expressed concern over the rising trend of food
vending around Kampala and other major urban areas across the country, warning
that the business places Ugandans at high risk of contracting bacterial
diseases like cholera, diarrhea and typhoid among others.