City of Kigali has been fighting street vending who are blamed for competing with licensed traders; they do not pay taxes and do not respect the city hygiene instructions.
Effort to remove them from streets has resumed with the City assessing a total of 3977 street vendors from Nyarugenge (1104), Gasabo (1921), and Kicukiro (952).
This month, they will be settled in 27 designated markets to promote fair trade while also assuring safety.
The development was announced during the press conference held at the City of Kigali headquarters on August 3, 2022.
“Banning street vendors is not a new thing. We started building markets for them in 2016. In the last few months, we have also conducted an assessment and many others will be removed from streets because street vending isn’t safe for our citizens,” Martine Urujeni, Vice-Mayor of City of Kigali said.
Urujeni said that the City of Kigali had a total of 12,197 street vendors in 2016 including 5058 in Nyarugenge, 5149 in Gasabo Disrict and 1990 in Kicukiro district.
“Since then, markets were built including Kisiminti, Ejo Heza markets and others. Most former vendors have seen their business develop after being financed by commercial banks because they are organized,” Urujeni said.
She added that street vendors to be removed on streets this month will be exempted from paying rent fees in new designated markets, for one year.
“Street vending can be eliminated over time. We support the establishment of cooperatives among vendors. This makes it easier for vendors with fewer goods to organize their supplies and labor. A few of them have already gotten going,” Urujeni said.
Vendors have been hesitant to leave the streets due to a variety of reasons, including limited financial capital and lack of market patronage.
“We appreciate city efforts to integrate us into the markets. But City of Kigali should tell people to buy from us, not on the streets,” Innocent Bizimana, a street vendor said.