Kigali City: Street vending to prevent before punishment- Civil society


The platform of Civil Society platform has a different angle on punishment imposed to street vendors in Kigali city. The suggestion is to analyze their causes, rather than punishing them.

Edouard Munyamariza, spokesman of the platform says punishing would not come first, but prevention. “Let punishments be there, but this should not the 1st step, we should start by asking why they’re in streets, where are they from, who are they”.

Most of street vendors are young women, who have dropped out schools for many reasons: some have been impregnated at younger age, others expelled from home due to poverty or intra-family conflicts; all end by becoming street vendors, says Munyamariza.

The best way for better results should be started on solving problems that cause the situation, and mitigate it later.

However, Munyamariza agrees that street vendors are threats to security. “They often come with double mission, selling and stealing”, he says. Regarding punishing both sides vendors and customers, he says it fair, because both are wrong.

Kigali City Council has recently announced to start enforcing the fines in the decree published in the official gazette. According to its provision, people illegally selling goods on the streets and their buyers could face up to Rwf10,000 in fines.

Some months ago, street vendors have been called to register and dispatched to 12 newly-created markets across Kigali. It is estimated that over 6,000 vendors initially got stands in these markets, even if some still return to the streets on evenings. Statistics not yet exact, the latest suggested that there are over 8,000 street vendors across the three urban districts of Nyarugenge, Gasabo and Kicukiro.

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Karegeya Jean Baptiste

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