Monday, November 7, 2011

Rwanda town criminalizes street selling

Huye Town, aka Butare, the second-largest city in Rwanda (population 77,000), has declared that it will evict all hawkers from the city's streets.

Pascal Sahundwa, the Executive Secretary of Ngoma Sector, told The New Times newspaper that the move was meant to restore order and neatness and to help local businesses. "We are determined to stop this because the business is causing losses to traders operating in stalls and shops as well as the state," he said.

The authorities make no claim that the hawkers are engaged in criminal activity. Indeed, the newspaper reported, most of the hawkers simply sell clothes, shoes and fruits. The administration wants the hawkers to take stalls in the town market. But, as one hawker told the paper, "We will only stop operating on the streets the day authorities give us affordable places. We cannot afford the high charges in the market, it is beyond our ability."


Anonymous said...

I understood that street vending was pretty much illegal throughout Rwanda. At least in Kigali the most you'll ever see is someone furtively selling bananas from a bowl hidden under a blanket.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

I'm a freelance radio reporter and I received a fellowship to report on the African community in Guangzhou. I wonder if you might be able to talk with me about your experiences there.

Thank you.

Nina Porzucki
nporzucki (at) gmail (dot) com