Amuru market vendors want hawkers and produce dealers’ operations restricted

AMURU – Pabo market vendors in Pabo Town Council, Amuru district want the town council and district authorities to restrict the movement and operation of hawkers and produce dealers.

They say hawkers and produce dealers most times go deep into the community selling their products at relatively cheaper prices and tampering with weighing scales as they buy items like cereals.

Santa Akech, Secretary of the Fish Vendors Association in Pabo market says, the hawkers and produce dealers most times tamper with weighing scales, cheating the local produce dealers and as they buy at a cheaper price.

Akech further says, most hawkers who come from other parts of the country tend to sell their items at a low price, swaying off customers from buying from them who pay rent, taxes, and trading licenses.

“Many of these hawkers don’t pay rent, neither do they pay taxes, yet they are the very people who drop prices of items to sway customers away from us,” Akech explained.

David Ocira, another vendor at Pabo market says, before starting business at the market, one is required to register with market authorities to help in tracing and organizing of the business.

Ocira further says if not regulated, the vendors could turn out to be thieves masquerading as vendors, yet they are only targeting to steal from those who operate at the market.

Already, several cases of theft and burglary have been reported at the market in recent times.

Raphael Onguka Onuka, the Chairperson of Pabo market vendors says, the continued operation of unregistered hawkers and produce dealers costs the town council revenue which implies the incapacity of the town council to provide services to those who pay tax at the market.

Already, the latrine at the market has not been emptied for three months leaving the area engulfed with bad smell and forcing sellers and buyers to use plastic papers to ease themselves before disposing it at a nearby garbage collection point.

“As market vendors, if anyone is not willing to register and abide by the set constitution of the market, they should then be stopped from operating within the town council,” said Onguka.

“We want the hawkers and produce dealers to officially register with us, so we know that they are our members and that the revenue and trading license fees they pay help the authorities in providing services for us in the market. We know for a fact that any area can’t be developed only by its natives,” Onguka said.

“As much as we want Pabo to develop and grow, the local businesses should not be suffocated and cheated by hawkers who don’t pay taxes and sell items at very low prices,” Onguka observed.

Moses Simba Tokuma, the Chairperson Finance, Marketing and Planning, Pabo Town Council says, the concern of the vendors is already being addressed by the town council.

Tokuma also said, registering hawkers and produce dealers would help widen the revenue base but also fight the threat of insecurity in the town council. Since revenue from market dues is one of the major sources of funds.

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