Uganda News

Over 80 kiosks have been removed from the streets of Kampala.

| As part of the smart city program to decongest Kampala, more than 80 kiosks have been removed from the city's streets.

| As part of the smart city program to decongest Kampala, more than 80 kiosks have been removed from the city’s streets.

Kiosks that had been set up along Ben Kiwanuka street, Allen road, part of Burton street, the Old taxi park, Nkrumah road, Railway group, Nasser road, Colville street, and Kimathi avenue, among other locations, have been removed and transferred to the Kampala Capital City Authority yard in Nakawa.

More than ten years ago, the KCCA began an operation to clear the city of vendors. Newspaper sellers, shoe shiners, stamp makers, and telephone firms, on the other hand, were given tight rules about the size and substance of kiosks at the time. The kiosks in the Central Division were supposed to be built of fibreglass or aluminum, while those in the city suburbs were supposed to be made of fibreglass, metallic canvas, and wood.

Kiosks on private land, on gazetted roadways, road reserves, and open spaces were required to be three by seven feet in size.

However, Villey Agaba, the KCCA’s physical planner in charge of the Central division, claims that the KCCA’s Physical Planning Committee decided in 2017 to remove all kiosks that had previously been permitted in Kampala. The proprietors, however, have three years until 2020 to remove the kiosks and relocate them to arcades, marketplaces, and shopping malls. He goes on to say that all kiosks in the city are now outlawed.

Agaba claims that many of the kiosk owners had falsified permits and paperwork that were not recognized by the KCCA, a claim that the authority is investigating. He claims that no kiosks will be left standing unless they have valid running licences.

Isma Ssekamanya, who owns two kiosks on Burton Street, claims that he followed the proper procedures for obtaining an operational authorization before establishing the kiosk. Ssekamanya claims he paid KCCA 550,000 Shillings for each of his kiosk permits, one of which was last renewed on March 4, 2021.

According to him, the KCCA’s physical planning department inspected the site before giving a permission, which he had for more than three years before it was demolished on Monday.

Those whose kiosks have been confiscated will be able to reclaim them within six months if they provide a permission from another region outside of KCCA authority allowing them to operate the kiosks. After six months, the KCCA will seek a court order to scrap the kiosks. The operation would continue in various Kampala divisions.

However, Dr. Amin Kiggundu, the Head of Makerere University’s Department of Architecture and Physical Planning, believes that while the city authorities may be following their guidelines and documented regulations, city managers should change their approach to planning in order to make the city more inclusive.

“We have to work with what we have.” We have a proclivity to overlook the informal economy. By inclusive, I mean that we need to consider what works best for us as Kampala residents, so that everyone works, lives, and exists in Kampala in an orderly manner.”

Regulations are good, according to Dr. Kiggundu, but they should be designed and executed based on the people’s ever-changing requirements. He goes on to say that the fact that these kiosks exist demonstrates that a need exists and that city management should plan for it.


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