Let the hawkers into the city!


hustler 1

This post was written before the last elections by @jemedariflows. After debating with work mates over the Uhuru’s declaration that hawkers should be allowed into the city to sell their wares I thought that it is a great post to share. It is edited to make it relevant to today’s situation.

Dear Mr. President,

I often heard our former Minister for Local Government lament and cry foul saying that hawkers are a menace in our city. It is amazing that such close minded people have driven this city to the dogs and still managed to call themselves visionary leaders! I have thus taken it upon myself to think for him, and this is my proposed solution to the hawker problem…

1. Zoning
In this sense, simply decide which areas of the cities and towns that you would want the hawkers to operate. Yes, we are going to let them operate! Relax, I am going somewhere with this! Allocate certain zones that these hawkers can operate, based on merchandize sold e.g. agricultural goods, stationery, clothes, electronics, etc.

hustler 2

2. Zoning Licences
Since the city fathers are always cleaning how broke the city is, why not allow the hawkers to get licenses for the zones in which they want to operate, or those which they can afford. In this sense, each zone generates its own revenue and thus makes it easier to foot bills such as cleanup, garbage, sewerage, power and water for each zone.

To quote the MP for Mbeya (DSM), Joseph Mbilinyi, “The nature of a hawkers business is moving around. Building a kibanda for a hawker is like telling a salesman to hit his target while sitting behind a desk! Let them roam, let them sell, let them be a part of the solution instead of viewing them as part of the problem!”

There you go, Mr President. A solution that your “honorable” former Minister did not think about!!

A simple thank you would do.



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Potentash Founder. A creative writer and editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]