Police 'battle' evicted Mwenge small traders

20May 2019
Henry Mwangonde
DAR
The Guardian
Police 'battle' evicted Mwenge small traders

DRAMA ensued in Dar es Salaam yesterday when police engaged vendors at Mwenge trading centre in Kinondoni district in running battles as police vigilance was needed while a municipal grader levelled stalls to pave the way for expansion of Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road.

Small traders at Mwenge, Dar es Salaam, relocate yesterday to pave the way for the expansion of a five-km stretch of Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road, a project to be implemented from Morocco to Mwenge by a Japanese contracting firm. Photo: Selemani Mpochi

There was an exchange of words for a while between armed police officers and vendors before a caterpillar which was parked in the vicinity started demolishing all the temporal structures dotting the area.

 

This paper witnessed the vendors at the popular shopping centre singing songs to counteract police orders to demolish the structures, before work starts on the four-kilometre section of the road, from Morocco to Mwenge.

“We are here for a long time. We pay tax and some of us even have the presidential Identity cards, which requires that we are not bothered by anyone. We do not know who is behind this order,” said Rashid Juma, one of the vendors.

Juma argued that the place they were taken to was located far from the bus stop hence there are no customers to buy their products.

“Politics is above everything in this country. This market has been demolished for the fourth if not fifth time now. This leader is telling us to remain and another one tells us to vacate,” said another angry vendor whose name could not be obtained.

Kinondoni District Commissioner Daniel Chongolo who was at the scene told this paper that the government has decided to move the market from Mwenge to a place along the Mwenge- CocaCola road.

The DC said that apart from road construction, a new bus stop will be built to serve people from various corners of the city.

In February,the government signed a contract for the widening of the 4.3km stretch of New Bagamoyo Road phase II between Morocco and Mwenge junctions.

The agreement was signed between he Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) and a Japanese contractor, the Nippo-Dai Nippon Joint Venture.

The project is funded by the government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a grant. It is designed to repave the current road, install new streetlights, service roads and footpaths for pedestrians.

The Japanese company is expected to execute the project for up to 24 months.

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