Sunday, 10 July 2011

Mwanza needs to address the ‘machinga’ question urgently

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Ray Naluyaga, The Citizen Bureau Chief

A permanent solution to riots caused by petty traders in Mwanza city is unlikely to be found soon as the problem is compounded by multiple causes and vested interests.On the surface it may look political, but the problem goes far deeper than that, and encompasses the way towns and cities are planned in the country.

Speaking to journalists after the Tuesday riots sparked by a dispute over an area stretching less than thirty metres at the Makoroboi lane, Mwanza Regional Police Commander, Mr Simon Sirro said the violence was a consequence of political divisions within the city council.

“We were informed about an operation to remove petty traders by the city director’s office; our duty was to provide security, but to our surprise, other city council officials separately called hawkers’ leaders and told them to continue doing business at places where the police were deployed, regardless of the prohibition order issued earlier,” said Mr Sirro.

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