The Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) management has said that it is not responsible for providing a temporary place for vendors evicted from Ubungo area in Dar es Salaam.
This come after the vendors and their legislator John Mnyika issued a three-day ultimatum to Tanesco to provide them with a temporary market, while waiting for a permanent one.
Speaking in an interview with this paper on Monday, Tanesco Executive Director William Mhando stressed that they were not responsible for the traders. He said they should consult the Kinondoni Municipal Council for relocating them since they were the ones who had invaded the area,” said Mhando.
He urged them to go and see the Municipal Council, which was responsible for providing them with a temporary market for conducting their businesses.
However, Mhando said there were many places where the vendors could run their businesses.
“The government has already earmarked a place for them,” he said.
On April 3, the police stormed into the area destroying the vendors’ property and wares as they forcefully evicted them from the area, which the city authorities had described as unsafe for anyone to stay for a long time because of the presence of overhead high voltage wires.
Addressing hundreds of vendors at the Ubungo ward office along Morogoro Highway in the city yesterday, Mnyika said the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, through Tanesco, had to look for an alternative market for the vendors since it had engineered and supervised their eviction.
He said Tanesco had to issue a statement on that in three days’ time, otherwise he would join the vendors to match to Tanesco offices.
He said the city authorities should ensure that the temporary market was constructed in the Ubungo area, adding that it wasn’t fair for the vendors from Ubungo to be moved to Mburahati, Shekilango, Makumbusho and Mabibo markets.
Mnyika said the main cause of the problem was poor city planning and supervision because the city fathers would have prevented the traders from the area a long time ago.
According to Mnyika, there are several places left undeveloped within his constituency, which could be temporarily used as marketplaces, adding that the markets to which the Kinondoni municipal authorities were forcing the evictees to go were fully occupied.
He said there were about 150,000 petty traders in Dar es Salaam, 3,000 of them being in Ubungo area and such a number was too big to be moved to district markets.
Mnyika noted that even the Machinga Complex could not accommodate 150,000 traders since its capacity was only 4,000 traders.
Ubungo ward councillor Boniface Jacob blamed the government for forcefully evicting the vendors without involving area leaders.
Association of vendors chairman Rambo Mswaki asked the municipal council to allow them to continue doing businesses in the area, while waiting for a new market. He said the vendors were ready to contribute money to facilitate the market's construction but on condition that it would be within Ubungo area.
A vendor, Stella Mbuba, said last January the government assured them that they would continue conducting their businesses in the area until an alternative market for them was ready. She said the vendors had bank loans, which they were supposed to repay on a weekly basis.