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Kikumi Vendors Decry Mak Perimeter Wall Construction

Written by: 
Noeline Nabukenya

As Makerere University management continues to secure the campus by erecting a perimeter wall around the hill, not everyone is happy about the development.

In Kavule, a suburb to the north-eastern side of the university, vendors have picked issue with the construction work. Commomnly known as Kikumikikumi literally meaning a hundred, a hundred, the place is known for its affordable foods, drinks, household items and clothes sold in makeshift locations that target university students. It is also a favourite for hawkers and road-side vendors who now say the construction work on the fence has affected their businesses.

The vendors who sell a variety of food stuffs like matooke, Irish potatoes, chips and greens among others, say they are under pressure because they have been threatened to quit the place within a short period of time. This they say would disrupt their work and livelihoods. At least 30 vendors are affected.

Doreen Amawino, one of the vendors says that the University has already warned them to shift to another place as soon as the construction work is finished. “This fence is going to affect us so much because they have already told us to leave the place immediately after the construction is completed. At least we would shift and start working from outside  but again the city authority is going to disturb us,”  she lamented.

The vendors have been selling their products from the university premises.

 “They are going to inconvenience me economically because it’s from these things I am selling that I can get food to feed my children and pay rent,” said another food seller who declined to reveal his identity.

Sophia Bateka, a vendor says they are trapped between a two hard places. On one side the university is building a wall cutting off their place of business. On the other, city authority, KCCA, doesn’t want them on city roads. “The fence has been put just near the road, you cannot go and start working from the road side because city council will arrest us,” she lamented.