12 February 2013

Uganda: Tears As KCCA Demolishes Kiosks

Food vendors and kiosk operators Tuesday morning were locked in running battles with Kampala Capital City Authority law enforcement officers at Arua Park in Kampala during the demolition of illegal structures.

Desparation written on their faces, women who operate small eateries were left in tears as ruthless officers destroyed all and sundry.

"Where are my I going to get school fees for my children and for the family up keep," Naima Bako, a food vendor cried.

The law enforcement officers attached to the department of health and environment stormed Arua Park at 7.00am in company of the Police and started razing down illegal structures saying the environment was a threat to the health of people.

"We have taken action to prevent the public from the danger of cholera and dysentery," Emmanuel Opolo, the acting supervisor law enforcement operations of KCCA said.

Opolo said for the first time they were able to access Arua Park which he termed as "a no go zone area" after the business community there denied them to conduct any operation for the last two years.

He pointed out that the area habours criminals who deal in drugs and they wanted to flash them out. He accused the food vendors for not maintaining good hygiene.

The law enforcement officers mugged everything they could lay their hands on and loaded the items into their pick-ups and trucks. "All my saucepans, plates, cups, stools and benches have been taken and I don't know where to start from," Farida Acheng, a food vendor, said.

The affected victims looked on helplessly as the law enforcement officers razed down makeshift shelters. One of the kiosk operators who tried to resist was grabbed and chased away.

James Ruhweza, the DPC Kampala Central Police Station, deployed his men to prevent any confrontation and destruction.

He encouraged the community within the Arua Park to be law abiding citizens.

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