The lord mayor of Kampala City Erias Lukwago has come out to blame the central government for the Kampala traders mess.
There is an ongoing battle between traders and the government.
As the government vows to push these traders off the streets to gazetted areas, they have vowed not to go away.
Lukwago said that the government never engaged KCCA on the way forward to dealing with these traders but just swung into unnecessary action via the wrong channels.
“it the mandate of the RCC to deal with trade order? It is not certainly. Is it the mandate of the security minister to deal with hawkers and vendors? Definitely not.
The RCC didn’t raise this matter with us. He just swung into action, issued deadlines, and started implementing.”
The lord mayor said that there are easier ways to always deal with such issues but the government always goes the hard way.
He added that the city has administrative offices which should be the right channels to discuss the city issues and not just using orders and decrees.
“In developed cities, there are soft measures they use to maintain trade order. Force is the last measure they use. For us here, force is the first measure we use.
There are 10 MPs in addition to the local leaders of the city. The reason this is the case is to process ideas individuals hold before they become policy.”
The lord mayor further said that even the military government brought on the streets to enforce the decree won’t do anything.
They will instead turn to begging traders for money prolonging the problem.
He also faulted the government for failure of constructing proper markets.
“The military they have brought on the streets is not going to stay there forever. They are also going to turn it into a business, getting money from the street vendors and allowing them back on the streets. Those soldiers you see are also hungry.
The reason for what’s happening now is that the government refused to implement the policy we put in place; regulation and gazetting of particular areas.
They never created proper markets in Kampala. If they created markets in Kampala like those they constructed upcountry, the situation would be a little different. What they constructed in Wandegeya is a shopping mall.”
He concluded by advising the government to make rectifications to the National Development Plan III for the urban poor.