Security Minister Gen Jim Muhwezi bans rural hawkers

Kampala – The Minister for Security, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi has issued a directive banning all hawkers in rural areas.

In a letter to all Resident District Commissioners [RDCs], District Police Commanders [DPCs]and all security personnel around the Country, Gen Muhwezi says, reports from the Internal Security Organization [ISO] have indicated that there are criminals moving around in villages pretending to be hawkers of merchandise.

“We have received information that there are people moving around villages especially in Western region, masquerading as hawkers” read the statement in parts.

Muhwezi says the practice is banned immediately, as it’s a source of insecurity for the country.

“The practice of moving in villages selling items should not be allowed as it is a source of insecurity”

He adds that those who want to trade in the rural areas should do so in the trading areas.

The directive comes barely two days after security in Kampala got involved in running battles with city traders and hawkers in an attempt to clean up the City streets of hawkers and vendors.

On Monday, a combined team of police and the military cleared Kampala streets of hawkers.

Several hawkers were arrested pending court action as Kampala Capital City Authorities [KCCA] grappled with the perennial challenge of vendors on the streets.

Meanwhile, Kampala Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago said, Jim Muhwezi, the Security Minister is not mandated to handle issues of hawkers including stopping them from plying their trade.

Lukwago further says, there are local government units that can handle hawkers through established by-laws that can give the decision a legal backing.

“We have local government units that can handle it. Local Councils should be allowed to act by passing by-laws- that would regulate hawking, Lukwago argued while appearing on NBS television.

Katikamu South MP, Hassan Kirumira says, if implemented, the directive would deny people living in the rural areas an opportunity to access cheap merchandise at their doorstep.

“Our people have been accessing cheap goods from the hawkers, but banning hawkers would mean they have to travel to Kampala or busy markets, which becomes more challenging,” Kirumira lamented.

Kampala Resident City Commissioner [RCC], Hood Hussein says, the directive is timely and would enable them to clean up the city, including towns.

Hussein further noted that rural hawking is not bad as compared to urban vending, but once the hawkers are a threat, then they should be regulated.

“Its government’s responsibility to protect the people and their property. If hawkers are a problem then we need to clean up through laws or such directives,” says Hussein why speaking to our reporter.

Gen Jim Muhwezi’s directive also follows reports of Allied Democratic Forces [ADF] rebel infiltration in the vast part of Western Uganda recruiting youth into rebel ranks.

Last week, authorities in DRC reportedly arrested Benjamin Kisokeranio, a key Allied Democratic Forces Commander in charge of recruitment in the rebel outfit.

The post Security Minister Gen Jim Muhwezi bans rural hawkers appeared first on The Cooperator News.