On Wednesday February 4 this week, Ali Ddamulira, suffered the misfortune of seeing an end to his business and his source of livelihood when operatives of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) seized his kiosk at Bunga, rendering him jobless once again.
Ddamulira, 26, who graduated with a bachelors degree in Tourism Management from Makerere University in 2011, had set up a kiosk stall at Bunga along Ggaba road only a few months before the KCCA swoop, following years of disguised unemployment as a shop attendant at a friend’s shop.
“I had saved some money with a target to open up a personal business than just slaving away for someone else. I opted for a Kiosk because it was cheaper to set up and sustain than opening a shop in town,”
He adds: “But I was saddened when about a month ago KCCA distributed warning notices of eviction on grounds that our structures were temporary.”
Ddamulira and probably thousands of people who had placed kiosks along the road had hesitated suffered the wrath of no nonsense KCCA operatives who wasted no time in removing them recently.
Many however admit they were warned by KCCA’s physical planning department of the exercise but are still bitter for not having been provided an alternative place from where to operate.
Ddamulira, whose kiosk used to earn him a handsome 45000/= daily on average from selling floor carpets, faces a tough time ahead as well as some of his family members for whom he was a bread winner but also a source of school fees.
“My source of income have been blocked and I have no where to go,” Ddamulira told The Sunrise.
The 26 year old says he decided to venture into business after failing for two years to find a job in his line of training. His decision to tend a friends’ shop was meant to years and he failed until when he got a petty job in Kampala where he fought had to raise own capital to start own business.
“I could not afford to rent a room in one of the arcades, because I didn’t have the money to pay rent,” Ddamulira narrates.
Instead, he says: “I found it’s cheaper to pay erect a metallic kiosk of Ushs 750,000 for which I would pay ground rent of Ushs 30,000 per month than a full shop.”
Over the past three years, erasing of temporary structures by KCCA’s Physical Planning Department has caused strong and mixed reactions from the general public.
Many of Kampala’s elites praise the strong and uncompromising stand of KCCA’s Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Musisi whom they credit for cleaning up the city.
“She’s a true heroin. She has done what many politicians failed to do for years because they never wanted to anger their voters,” says Hadijah Namusoke an accountant in Kampala.
But Ddamulira and many of his folks who live on edge are bitter for not being an alternative.
“We need a beautiful Kampala but it’s like the Authority is beautifying the city for a particular class of people.
My view is that the Authority should have planned for us other than disowning us. We have families, pay taxes and have an equal stake in the city as everybody else.”