ABOUT five days ago President Samia Suluhu Hassan ordered Regional Commissioners (RCs) to reposition petty traders, commonly known as 'Machinga', in a way that they conduct their businesses without affecting shop owners.
However, the President said the exercise should be conducted peacefully without element of any force.
She said she was aware that the government availed huge opportunity to petty traders to conduct their business activities as a means of creating employments.
However, she said it was necessary for them to conduct their activities at different places as per arrangements by regional administrations.
The Head of State raised concern that looking at the current situation, there was laxity in supervising how they operate as the petty traders had invaded almost every place.
Giving an example, President Samia said some petty traders placed their goods in front of others' shops, blocking customers from entering them, knowing that shop-owners also had the civic duty to pay tax.
According to the observation, this trend has existed for about six years now as petty traders including hawkers and food vendors have resorted to invade or encroach some open spaces, including road sides for the purpose of doing business.
The government has been spending huge chunk of taxpayers’ money in building roads, especially in urban areas to ease traffic but very unfortunately these roads have been turned into selling points of merchandise by petty traders.
There are some roads that have been rendered completely impassable in urban areas with cities such as Dar es Salaam and Mwanza becoming the major victims with this problem. When one drives along the newly built eight lanes from Kimara to Kibamba area in Dar es Salaam they will definitely come across disturbing scenes on the roadsides.
The scenes around the newly built Magufuli International Bus Terminal is neither impressive.
Speaking from experience, Dar es Salaam city which serves an entry point for international visitors has suffered much as all its roads are not spared. Often we have witnessed regional administrations in the country being at loggerheads with petty trades whenever they are being evicted from unauthorised areas.
This time the directives have been issued on how to handle the matter. We believe regional administrations will work on them professionally. We must bring sanity to our cities.