Lukwago sues Kampala top leaders over illegal evictions
Erias Lukwago sues Kampala's top leaders over illegal evictions in the city.

The Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has sued the Kampala Minister and the RCC’s office over illegal operations including the eviction of street vendors.

Erias Lukwago, the Lord Mayor of Kampala, has filed a lawsuit against the Kampala Minister and the RCC’s office because of illegal operations, including the eviction of street vendors.

Since the start of this year, KCCA has been carrying out operations to arrest and evict among others, kiosks and street vendors in addition to calling for compulsory boda boda registration.

However, while addressing the media at City Hall in Kampala earlier this week, Lukwago said the operation to evict street vendors and hawkers from the city is not only illegal but KCCA also holds no enabling law currently to enforce the directive.

As a result, he (Lukwago) on behalf of the KCCA Executive Committee has petitioned the High Court to quash the ban on street vending and hawking on grounds that it is illegal and unreasonable. 

Other members in support of the petition include Deputy Lord Mayor Doreen Nyanjura, councillors Olive Namazzi, John Mary Ssebuwufu and Kizza Hakim Sawula. 

In the petition, they accuse the Minister for Kampala and the RCC of usurping their powers when they announced the compulsory ban on street vending and hawking in January 2022, leading to the brutal and violent eviction of street vendors, kiosk operators and hawkers as part of the Smart City initiative.

Lukwago and his team insist the eviction directive is being enforced by the police, UPDF, KCCA law enforcement officers, and unidentified stick-wielding persons calling themselves Smart City Operatives. 

Lukwago says the current legal regime governing the city vests the mandate of organizing and regulating trade order in the city in KCCA and does not abolish street vending and hawking but instead creates a mechanism for regulation of the same through licensing.

He argues that the KCCA strategic plans for 2014/2015 to 2018/19 and 2021/2022 to 2025/2026, made provisions for the construction of common user facilities including modern markets to accommodate the urban poor, which was budgeted for in various budgets. 

Lukwago however, says the central government has unjustifiably refused to disburse funds for this project, leaving the vendors and hawkers stuck with nowhere to sell their items.

As a result, he accused the Deputy RCC Rubaga, Burora Herbert Anderson and the KCCA technical wing and the state minister for Kampala, Kabuye Kyofatogabye of acting outside the law.

‚ÄúThe brutal and violent eviction of all the street vendors, kiosk operators and hawkers by the police, UPDF soldiers, KCCA enforcement officers and unidentified stick wielding persons calling themselves ‚Äúsmart city operatives‚ÄĚ is illegal, ultra vires, irrational and unreasonable,” Lukwago said.

‚ÄúThe process leading to the decision and/or a directive prohibiting all ‚Äėunregistered‚Äô boda-boda riders from operating in Kampala at specified boda boda stages and within the Metropolitan area are illegal, ultra vires, irrational and unreasonable,‚ÄĚ he added.