Street vendors slam Mayor over eviction order

By Bida Elly David

Street vendors and small-scale retailers in Juba have yesterday criticized a local order issued by the mayor of Juba City banning them from selling goods along main roads.

On Wednesday this week, Juba city mayor Michael Lado Allah-Jabu issued a local order ideally restricting and banning sale of fruits, live Chicken, Petrol, Diesel and other fuel products, Textiles by hawkers/vendors and other unauthorized business activities along main roads within the city jurisdiction.

The order stated that any vendor with any business or enterprise should work towards acquiring a space or a plot of land to facilitate the transaction.

However, the pronouncement of the order shocked most street vendors especially mothers, young school girls mainly secondary and University students who venture for petty businesses to meet their needs.

The order further outlined punitive measures to any party that shall not abide by the order as declared from the day of its effect.

“Any person, institution, companies or mobile hawkers and others found in the process of transacting the above mentioned categories of the petty businesses along main tarmac and marram roads within Juba city shall be apprehended and fined SSP 50,000 (Fifty Thousand)”

“Hawkers or mobile petty handlers involved in this unauthorized location shall be fined SSP 25,000 (Twenty-five thousand) South Sudanese pounds or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two weeks or both,” the order stated.

At the same note, the order stated that business owners who hire hawkers to conduct such businesses on their behalf along these spots shall be apprehended and fined SSP 200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand South Sudanese Pounds) or face impoundment for a term not exceeding two weeks or both.

“Hawkers displaying businesses on pavements along main roads are reminded to refrain from this activity. Failure to respond, a fine will be imposed on them of SSP 50,000 (Fifty Thousand South Sudanese pounds) or confiscation of the business or face imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months and fine,” It further read.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, Nasrin Ali, a fruit vendor in one of the roads criticized the mayor’s order of eviction terming it a disaster to mothers who struggle to place meals on the table.

“The order issued by the mayor cannot work because in Juba these days, most women create businesses along the roads to feed their children, medicate and educate them,” she noted.

“Where does he want us to go since we don’t have purchasing powers to buy land? If he wants, he should also issue an order for funding our children’s education and others,” the vendor echoed her discontent.

Nasrin however suggested provision of empty spaces by the authority as a market for their enterprises as a mechanism to resolve their financial constraints.

“If the mayor wants us to leave the main roads, he should provide us with empty spaces before our departure then we shall be contented but for now, the idea is not in a right truck,’’ she continued.

For his part Pitiya Mogga, a barrow boy specialized in selling sugarcane reiterated that his business was the only source of his education funding and the scope of his enterprise has been operational for years now.

“I am selling sugarcane on my wheel barrow. All my customers got used to my location. If I am displaced from here, it will be hard for me to get money,” he said.  

“My business along the tarmac has been generating my school fees and food. The decision by the mayor evicting us from selling along the highways will affect our studies,” the poor barrow boy lamented. He wished that he (city mayor) should revise his order and “render us the progression,” he appealed.

The order has directed stakeholders and retailers doing petty businesses to refrain from sale and transacting business on Ministries’ road from Muduria to the National Legislative Assembly, Muduria through Juba Teaching Hospital, Custom Seventh Day roundabout, University of Juba, Konyo-Konyo Mudarat roundabout, Airport road through Beijing Hotel to Seventh-day roundabout among other areas under the jurisdiction of Juba city council.

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