Street vendors who have for a long time been selling merchandise along several streets in Kampala were on Monday forcefully evicted by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
By 9:00am, most of the stalls and kiosks along city streets were demolished by KCCA law enforcement officers. The operation which started at dawn is part of plans to restore trade order in the central business district, KCCA said last week.
Among those most affected by the operation were vendors operating in down town Kampala, which is the busiest shopping hub in the city.
Newspaper vendors were also affected by the crackdown, as several KCCA officers chased them off the streets and confiscated some of their merchandise.
Along Allen Road which leads to the New Taxi Park, several wooden stalls were destroyed, and some of the traders complained that their merchandise was thrown into the nearby Nakivubo Channel.
"I have lost a lot of property which they destroyed. I found some of my merchandise in the Channel and I am now stranded," said Salim Seguya, a trader in fruits and vegetables.
Most of the merchandise is sold there in the evening, blocking access to Qualicel Bus Terminal and the New Taxi Park.
The area is popular for the sale of household products and food items, and was recently monitored for the sale of fake sugar.
Following the crackdown, some vendors attempted to move their items inside the New Taxi Park but faced resistance from those operating there.
Vendors operating along Colville Street, Kampala Road and William Street vacated the area, except those operating kiosks which are also in road reserves or pavements.
At 11:00am, a group of angry traders marched to City Hall purportedly to present their grievances to the Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago.
The Police sealed off the area and dispersed the crowd shortly after Lukwago had entered the KCCA headquarters. The group then marched to Kikuubo, a busy trading area in the city as they wailed and chanted, but were soon dispersed again.
Along Ben Kiwanuka Street and Luwum Street, the Police deployed heavily to control angry traders protesting the demolition of their stalls.
The area, located outside the Old Taxi Park, is popular for the sale of second-hand clothes, shoes, handbags and other personal effects. Several traders stood along the busy street in small groups while others sat along pavements, pondering their next move.