Sunday, 17 July 2011

Regulating street trading: A thorn in the flesh of public authorities

From Daily News, Dar es Salaam

LAST weekend witnessed one of the most serious riots in recent times, in the city of Mwanza, involving street traders. Millions worthy of property was destroyed. The incident was to some extent depicted as being politically motivated. On the other hand it attained racial tones, with most of the property that was destroyed belonging to the Indian community.

Given the political spectrum of Mwanza, it was easy for some key officials and politicians to blame this on political foment. Yet, our urban areas have a long history of resorting to forceful eviction of street traders only to realize that sometime after, the traders are back from where they were evicted. Regulating street trading has become a thorny issue.

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