The Nyarugenge District Advisory Council has passed a resolution to penalize people who purchase goods from the street vendors as a way of getting rid of all vendors operating in the city.
Alex Africana, Nyarugenge district advisory committee President, confirmed the resolution during a telephone interview on Thursday.
Africana said that any person caught buying from vendors will be charged Rwf 10,000, the same fine that is imposed on the vendors.
He said that council agreed on the penalty because ‘when vendors don’t get buyers they will find it difficult to operate.’
“If all people can buy from specified markets, then the vendors will have no option but to also shift to these markets.”
He added that the district still has enough space in the markets, dismissing claims that the taxes are high. Vendors have previously cited high taxes as key reason for avoiding these markets.
“Even when the taxes are high, we made it clear that any vendor who comes to us and declares their willingness to join the market and cannot afford the taxes, is exempted for a period of about a year,” Africana said.
“Despite of all this, vendors have kept a deaf ear which is why we have decided to take another step by penalizing them and their clients and seizing their goods,” he said.
He added that district have also decided to build fruit markets so that if the vendors run out of space in the already existing markets, they have somewhere else to go.
Nyarugenge district is currently constructing four fruit markets which will be ready by the beginning of next year.