Kirehe traders to resist relocation from Rusumo highway

KIREHE - Vendors with shop on sidewalks at Cyunuzi, along the Kibungo -Rusumo highway in Kirehe District are opposed to the idea of relocation,  despite reports that the area is accident-prone.Cyunuzi was declared by district and police officials as a black-spot following a spate of road accidents that have claimed the lives of several vendors.
A roadside vendor at Cyanuzu in Kirehe District; The traders have contested relocation from the accident-prone spot. The New Times / Steven Rwembeho.
A roadside vendor at Cyanuzu in Kirehe District; The traders have contested relocation from the accident-prone spot. The New Times / Steven Rwembeho.

KIREHE -Vendors with shop on sidewalks at Cyunuzi, along the Kibungo -Rusumo highway in Kirehe District are opposed to the idea of relocation,  despite reports that the area is accident-prone.

Cyunuzi was declared by district and police officials as a black-spot following a spate of road accidents that have claimed the lives of several vendors.

District authorities plan to keep the area free of accidents by relocating the vendors.

Even before the decision is enforced by relevant authorities, the traders who talked to The New Times argued that Cyunuzi is the most ideal point for doing business.

Callixte Habyarirora, 24, said yesterday that it would be illogical to shift the vendors just because of accidents, arguing that trading along the highway was the source of livelihood for many rural families.

“There is no point in evicting us. Cyunuzi is at a junction where we easily access food to sell from Gahara Sector and the rest of the district,” he argued.

Dativa Dusabeyezu, another vendor said she hoped the idea of removing them off the street would be rescinded.

"The administration cannot evict us without a better alternative. We will protest against the move...we also love our lives and we know how to avoid accidents," she added.

Protais Murayira, the Mayor of the district insisted that the relocation will still go ahead, saying some that if the arguments lodged by the traders were out of ignorance, and cannot be taken seriously.

He explained that the district analyses black-spots on a regular basis to gradually improve road safety.

“Cyunuzi roadside traders are at risk...there is a long stretch of steep road before the traders’ point on a very sharp corner. Truck drivers often fail to negotiate the corner and end up over-running the traders. Something must be done,” he said.

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