KAMPALA - The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director, Dorothy Kisaka, has revealed that they are working around the clock to ensure more space is provided for the vendors in Kampala who are being relocated.
Since January, KCCA has been relocating street vendors to various markets like Usafi, Nakawa, Kasubi, and Nakasero among others that are owned by the authority.
“I want to thank the vendors for appreciating the Smart City initiative and accepting to be relocated peacefully. Some of you already have where to operate from while others don’t have, but we are working to ensure you all get space,” Kisaka said.
This was during a Friday, meeting where at least 100 leaders of the vendors and hawkers’ association met with Kisaka and the Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Hajjat Minsa Kabanda at KCCA headquarters.
The meeting was aimed at forging smart ways of conducting business in the city.
“We have worked together with the street vendors and they have identified some land in Kalerwe which we are working together with them so that it can be utilized for those who are willing to stay in an organized place and do their vending,” Kisaka said.
The relocation of vendors is in line with the authority’s initiative of turning Kampala into a Smart City and a city of international standards, which is in with the Vision, Mission, and Values of KCCA.
Kisaka said a smart city must have infrastructure, roads, drainages, lights, markets, and everything smart. Not only in words but even in appearance.
“That is why we are saying that when our verandahs and streets are full of charcoal stoves, fruits, eggs; it doesn’t make our city smart. Do you see it looking smart? No, it makes it look disorganized,” Kisaka said.
She said a smart city must also have smart governance structures and citizens who are smart; thinking smart, working smart, and progressing smartly.
“For those who have been working on these streets what do we do for them? We have to get them something smart. We are not evicting them from the city but we are relocating them in an organized smart place,” Kisaka said.
Kisaka notes that the city needs to have high technology services, like apps so that people access services quickly.
“We need digitalizing our city because that is where all the cities and countries are going,” she said.
She commended the leaders of the vendors for being calm and making an initiative to meet the KCCA leadership.
“The idea of coming here as vendors and hawkers’ association to come here to talk to ED whom they said is evicting you from the streets is very smart,” Kisaka said.
In their submission, the vendors asked KCCA to allow them to operate on streets during the Sunday markets and evening hours starting at 5 pm.
“We are requesting the government to allow us to work starting 5 pm as well as Sunday market. We pledge to be organized and keep the city clean,” said Umar Kizito, one of the vendor leaders.
Hajjat Kabanda asked the vendors to remain patient as their issues are being considered and new places created for them.
“We are going to return their goods to the vendors which were confiscated without any penny so long as they don’t return to the streets,” Kabanda said.
She said they will start registering vendors to help the authority ascertain their exact number on how they will be relocated to different divisions and to benefit from government programs.
Kampala is set to become Uganda’s first smart city through the Smart City initiative.
By smart city, it is expected to be an innovative city that uses information communication technology (ICTs) and other means to improve quality of life, the efficiency of urban operations, services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations for economic, social and environmental aspects.