The City of Kigali has announced that with effect from today they will work with Rwanda National Police to enforce law that bars vendors from operating on Kigali streets.
The official decision was reached yesterday during a meeting between the Police, City of Kigali and government officials before it was communicated to the press at City Hall.
The Mayor of Kigali City Pascal Nyamurinda told the media that street vendors and other illegal businesses will be forced out with the support of the police and ensure that they operate only in established markets.
"We are going to use whatever security organ that we have to make sure that we deal with these people. We have laws and regulations that need to be followed; those who don’t abide by them will be dealt with according to the law. We have been working with DASSO but the vendors have defied them," said the mayor.
The new measures against “Abazunguzayi” as they are locally known, follows previous fruitless efforts to relocate them to established markets to prevent disorder, insecurity, poor sanitation, accidents, which they were causing, according to officials.
The illegal itinerant business practice has since continued on streets where they sell clothes, fruits and vegetables, among other products with some vendors vowing to carry on with the practice where they have in some cases been violent against law enforcers who try to get them off the streets.
One of the case in point reported by Police happened a fortnight ago where a mob of vendors in Nyabugogo bus terminal reacted violently against law enforcers wounded some of them as they ordered them to get off the streets.
RNP has also reported that it will base on the 2015 resolutions of the City of Kigali Advisory Council in its operations to ensure that the vendors operate in established markets, said ACP Badege.
ACP Badege said: “Majority of the street vendors are youth and women, who belong to a prime cluster with several economic empowerment program.”
“There are markets that were constructed in all corners of the city for those who were on the streets. Those who went to the markets were also given incentives. The Government has several women and youth financial empowerment schemes and has also prioritized job creation for youth under the National Employment Programme (NEP). Basically, there is no justification for someone to sell on streets, yet there are markets from which they can operate.” “We are coming in as law enforcers and to ensure that the law and bylaws are respected to ensure public safety and put an end to such violent behaviors that undermine authorities and cause public disorder. Our operations have already started; police officers are already on the ground,” ACP Badege disclosed.
He, however, clarified that there is no specific unit charged with preventing street vending, but rather incorporating it in the usual police operations.
According to the City of Kigali, so far, there are 14 markets constructed in different parts of the city that are meant to accommodate street vendors.