President Museveni has asked vendors to leave roadsides for vehicles and pedestrians but move to new markets that government is constructing for a clean and safe city.
Museveni gave the guidance on Wednesday as he commissioned the state-of-the-art Kasubi Market in Rubaga Division, Kampala.
The shs1.66 billion facility will serve 800 vendors working in shifts.
“Now that we have the markets, let us leave the roadsides. Let us leave the roads for vehicles and other road users,” the president advised.
“There should never be food vending on the roadside. We want vehicles to be on the road and pedestrians on the walkways.”
The president said the construction of the facility was a fulfillment of a host of pledges made by the government to the people of Kampala on the modernization of markets, roads and drainage channels among other infrastructure in the city.
The President warned corrupt KCCA enforcement officials and the police against soiling the reputation of government and urged the city authorities to deal with them strongly.
“Things are moving on well apart from a few mistakes. When we work on corruption people will enjoy living in the city.”
The President, who apologised for not stopping to greet people crowded on the roadsides who were cheering him, said such crowding must stop since it poses a high risk of spreading the Covid-19 disease.
“It seems they have not understood that this virus is serious and dangerous. I was forced to go and tell them that gathering is wrong at this particular time. Please avoid mass gathering,” he said.
He added that people must take seriously the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, warning them against listening to misinformation that the disease is non-existent or only kills the elderly.
The Minister for Kampala, Betty Amongi, said with millions flocking into the city for opportunities, it was important that it is well planned.
“It’s our responsibility to have space for the people to operate in. We must listen and engage our people according to the president’s direction,” she said.
The new Kampala Capital City Authority Executive Director, Dorothy Kisaka, applauded Museveni for her appointment and applauded him for his leadership in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said the Kasubi market was a fulfillment of a pledge by the President to vendors who had been operating along the road reserve.
The market sits on 1.2 acres of land and comprises seven sections, with well-designed open stalls, modern sanitary facilities, a police booth, office block, parking lot, perimeter wall, garbage collection points, ramps for Persons with Disabilities(PwDs) and a daycare centre for breastfeeding mothers.
Kisaka said a total of 1,431 vendors were registered, but because of the Standard Operating Procedures on social distancing, only 800 vendors will be accommodated at a time.
Of the over 90 markets in Kampala currently, 20 are run by KCCA while the others are either privately owned or run by the Buganda Kingdom.
Commissions Lubigi works
President Museveni also moved Kawempe, Kampala where he flagged-off construction works for Nakamiro and Lubigi channels respectively.
Nakamiro drainage channel is 3.28 kilometres long and works will cost Shs20.2 billion while the 2.5km-long Lubigi channel works will cost Shs62.6 billion.
Funded by the World Bank, the works are expected to be completed in 12 months.
The President said besides drainage, the government will also fix most roads to ensure safety of users.
He advised KCCA to use cameras to track people littering channels and the environment, ensuring that the culprits are fined.
Museveni urged the city leadership to fumigate swampy areas for the comfort of those living nearby and insisted that they crackdown on corrupt enforcement officials and the police.
“The enforcers are corrupt; they are taking money from people and beating them. This must stop!”