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Gulu City, Division Leaders Bicker Over Allocation of Space to Evicted Vendors

The rift comes a week after the City authorities accompanied by security personnel stopped leaders in Bardege Division from allocating space to accommodate vendors that were last month evicted from major streets.
UPDF soldiers evict road side traders in Gulu City while implementing trade order in July

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Gulu City and Bardege-Layibi Division authorities are embroiled in a row over plans to allocate market space for vendors dealing in second-hand clothes and shoes.

The rift comes a week after the City authorities accompanied by security personnel stopped leaders in Bardege Division from allocating space to accommodate vendors that were last month evicted from major streets.

Gulu City Clerk Isiah Tumwesigye on Tuesday faulted the division leaders of Bardege-Layibi for rushing to create a market space for vendors without consulting the city council officials. He notes that the allocated space is illegal since it lies within a wetland gazetted by the National Forest Authority-NFA adding that they won’t allow it to be destructed by giving it out to vendors.

//cue in: “The area they…

Cue out:…claim a wetland.”//

According to Tumwesigye, the creation of a new market wasn’t necessary at the moment since there are still vacant spaces in designated markets within the city. He says the move nearly disorganized businesses in other markets since many people rushed to acquire spaces leaving out the main markets.

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The Deputy Resident City Commissioner for Pece-Laroo Division Peter Banya noted that security won’t allow any establishment of new markets. He says the Division authorities failed to liaise with the city council authorities and security on their resolution which would have been destructive to the environment.

But the Deputy Speaker of Bardege-Layibi Division Council Brian Openyrwot said that blocking the allocation of the market space by the city authorities was an ill move driven by a fight for revenue collection.

He says the division passed a resolution in the council about two weeks ago to grant the evicted vendors space for business owing to their outcry after being mercilessly evicted without being offered alternative places for businesses.

//cue in: “Lucat bongi ma…

Cue out:…ilok kum revenue.”//

Openyrwot says as division leaders they are planning to hold meetings with the city authorities to help out the vendors get spaces for businesses. He notes that the current trade order being implemented by the city council can only be meaningful if more markets are created to accommodate the vendors.

Luo

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Cue out:…ki enforcing matwala.”//

The majority of the affected vendors have however opposed the decision of the city council blocking them from being allocated business spaces.

Vicky Aloyo, one of the vendors who was evicted along Gulu Kampala Highway in July argues that whereas the city authorities claim there are still vacant positions in the various markets, the majority of the spaces are unconducive for businesses. She appealed to the city leadership to gazette a new market that can accommodate those evicted.

Last week, Gulu City Council authority and security personnel held a meeting in which they resolved to have a weekly market for the evicted vendors.

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