The mayor of the City of Kigali, Monique Mukaruliza, has said there is no more reason for street vending to operate in the city.
Mukaruliza said this over the weekend at the launch of a new market in Nyabugogo, Nyarugenge District, constructed by the Government for street vendors.
The market has a capacity of up to 2000 traders. It is one of the 12 markets that have already been constructed in the three districts of Kigali with an aim of eliminating street vending in the city.
Among these, Nyarugenge has five markets accommodating up to 3,791 traders. The other Nyarugenge markets are in Marathon (1200 traders), Nzove market (84 traders), Inkundamahoro market (64 traders).
“I congratulate you on becoming legally recognised traders. With this market, you now have an address where you can be found. It is a great step toward the development of our economy and there is no more reason for street vending,” Mukaruliza said, citing different problems brought about by the practice among which she highlighted poor sanitation and public disorder.
Tax exemption for a year
According to statistics from City authorities, the City of Kigali has registered about 8,300 vendors in the three urban districts of Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge.
In all these markets, the traders are exempted from paying rent and all kinds of taxes for a year.
Daniel Byishimo, the president of the market, promised to leverage on these advantages so that, by next year, the traders will have a lot to show for.
“We will have developed and some of us will be parking our own cars next year,” he said.
Dr Diane Gashumba, the minister for gender and family promotion, who was the chief guest at the event, said the project will help empower women to continue engaging in business.
She urged the traders to continue thinking of ways of coming up with more developmental ideas as well as creating new jobs.
The City of Kigali also used the opportunity to showcase 135 new community security personnel who will work with Police in ensuring that street vending is eliminated.
Emmanuel Gasana, the Inspector General of Police, referred to the market as a “landmark as far as security in the city is concerned.”
“Street vending is a threat to security. It increases risks of accidents, poor sanitation, among other evils that hinder development. You cannot speak about good governance without speaking about security,” he said.
Gasana also promised financial support to the traders’ cooperatives.
“The resources we have been using to fight street vending will now be used to support you since this problem has been dealt with,” the IGP said.