In any ‘war’ situation, antagonists devise means of outwitting each other. This is what is happening today between the city vendors, police and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) law enforcement officers as the latter struggle to evict the vendors off the streets of Kampala.
The forceful eviction of vendors follows a directive by Kampala minister Beti Olive Kamya Turomwe last week, a development that has caused a crack in the relations between the KCCA councilors led by the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago on one side, and the Minister.
Armed with sticks, the vendors have this morning unleashed unprecedented terror against their ‘tormentors’ causing a stampede and engaging in running battles in areas around the new and old taxi parks.
As that was happening, the female vendors around the Old Taxi Park had also devised a ‘new trick’; they put their babies in boxes they usually use to display their merchandise, and were inviting law enforcement officials to take the children and care them.
“Since you have deprived us of our daily, please take this child and care for it,” one lady vendor told a KCCA enforcement officer. The man just ‘fizzled’, leaving the vendors in celebratory laughter.
Another vendor spit venom at the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government, saying it was insensitive to their plight and had started harassing them following their support that helped ensure electoral victory in the February elections.
“These people (NRM government) were here convincing us to vote for them, which we did, now they are sending this ‘opposition woman’ (Kampala minister Kamya) to evict us; what type of leaders are these?” the man wondered.