Women express anger over Juba City Council demolitions

Women express anger over Juba City Council  demolitions
Demolitions at Custom Market in Juba (photo credit: Alex Bullen/City Review)

Several businesswomen in Juba have complained over the string of market demolitions undertaken by the Juba City Council authorities.

This comes after Mayor Kalisto Lado launched an exercise last week which he said was aimed at reorganizing the markets in the city.

The authorities said the demolition exercise will continue and vowed not to compensate any traders.

However, the affected traders, especially women, have lamented the consequences of the exercise carried out by the City Council.

Mary Said, one of the businesswomen, said the Juba City Council should have allocated a new place for them to relocate their shops before bringing down the structures.

“The mayor’s idea is not bad, he wants the town to be organized but what makes many people take it negatively is that the mayor did [not] see far and consider the harmful part of it,” she said.

Mary added that most women in the country were doing retail businesses to sustain their livelihoods as well as taking children to schools.

She stated it was unfair chasing women out from the roadsides and telling them to go and rent shops inside the market.

No profits

“When someone is doing business that cannot make a profit even or pay a [house] rent; it is like telling someone to go home and the children are not going to school,” Mary said.

“What mayor was supposed to identify a place where the vulnerable women who are selling their small products can relocate to [so that they can] continue with their business of supporting their children,” she added.

Sunday Kakule, another fruits vendor at Custom Market, said she was shocked after the mayor’s group destroyed her small stalls despite having her belongings in the shop.

 “I even do not want talk about it, it has gone. I would talk if those who think that everyone is like them could understand us, but talking? I think you are making me annoyed, so please leave me alone,” Kakule told The City Review reporter.

Another woman who identified herself as Idia said the mayor’s exercise did not consider that some women are suffering and struggling to survive with the small businesses they are doing.

“Like me, I am the mother and father of my children, and what I am doing is just to make sure my children eat and go to school but now I do not know where they want us to go exactly,” she said.

“We are not like them where their children are enjoying in some countries. If they said they want to put the country to look like other countries, they are supposed to give us the place and relocate us before demolishing,” Idia stressed.

She added that the only way to gain the trust the of Juba City Council Mayor is when he had allocated the affected women a new place where they can continue with their retail business.

When contacted for comment, the Juba City Council legal advisor Simon Joseph said the demolition was not against anybody but an exercise aimed at reorganizing the market.

“We want our people to understand that we are not against anyone. it is meant to reorganize the Juba City to look like towns in the neighboring countries especially in the market system,” he revealed.