On the 8th August 2019, Platform for Vendors in Uganda (PLAVU) with support from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) held a consultative meeting with its members (street vendors and hawkers) from the five (5) divisions of Kampala to review the draft Street Trade Ordinance, 2019.
The purpose of this ordinance is to provide a legislative framework that will allow regulation and management of vending and hawking on the streets of Kampala city in an organised and orderly manner. Under this proposed regulation, all street vendors and hawkers will be expected to have uniforms, special street trade license, identification numbers, among other issues.
The consultations were facilitated by Dr. Phiona Mpanga from Makerere University Law School whereas Hon. Robert Mathuku – Workers’ Councilor at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) delivered the opening remarks where he assured support for a favourable regulation for management of vendors and hawkers in Kampala. Robert called upon the vendors and hawkers to carefully analyse the draft ordinance and identify gaps that need to be addressed before the approval by KCCA council.
PLAVU members welcomed the introduction of the Street Trade Ordinance and for them it indicates that the government of Uganda has recognised the role of street trade and hawking as part of the informal economy in Uganda’s economic development. However, the current form of the draft ordinance is not favorable for the street vendors and hawkers to enjoy their right to work.
As a result, PLAVU secretariat in consultation with its members proposed amendments that need to be discussed with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and other key stakeholders before the ordinance is approved. Among the key required changes include but not limited to the following – reduction in the annual license fees, clarifying the meaning and process of obtaining COIN, grading of city should be well defined, recognition of street vendors’ associations such as PLAVU in the process of acquiring license, community service instead of imprisonment as a fair punishment for operating without license, need to consider special interest groups especially Persons with disabilities in the ordinance, revisiting the proposed uniform colors for different divisions, preference for aprons instead of overalls as uniforms, revising age from 18 to 16 years for those to get licenses and operate in Kampala as vendors and hawkers, need to categorise vendors and hawkers, provision of reasons under which a vendor maybe denied a license and highlighting in the ordinance how the collected fees from the annual licenses will help to improve the working environment of street vendors and hawkers.
The Platform for Vendors in Uganda agreed to have an engagement with Kampala Capital City Authority to share their position on the ordinance and areas that need to be addressed. The current form of the Ordinance does not serve in the interest of street vendors and hawkers will affect their operations if passed without their recommendations.