Police destroy stands in Bujumbura city, owners say it is injustice

The municipal administration and police authorities have proceeded with the destruction of “stands that don’t meet the required standards” at Hakizimana Gallery, commonly called “Mugatoki”, in Bujumbura town on Thursday, August 9th. Owners denounce the act.

The destroyed stands behind the former central market of Bujumbura

The destroyed stands behind the former central market of Bujumbura

A saleswoman met on the spot says not to understand why they have destroyed their stands. «I rent this booth from the owner of this shop since 2013 and have always conformed with the administration’s regulations. These stands were in front of the stalls and not in the road, I don’t understand why they destroyed them, » she says.

She says they constructed the stalls with the administration’s agreement. “Nobody among the agents of the administration forbade me when I constructed the stall”.

She says there are other stalls that are in the road but were not destroyed: “There are stands that are very close to the streets in the center of the town but that were not destroyed. Why has the mayor decided to destroy the stands of some and leave others? ” she wonders.

A clothes saleswoman denounces the brutality of the police agents “They came early in the morning before we arrived. Why haven’t they warned the traders before?” she also wonders.

Ramadhan Nkurikiye, senior adviser to the mayor of Bujumbura, says the decision is not a surprise. “Traders were warned”.

He also says the destroyed stands were on the public road. “It is up to the administration and not traders to manage the city”, he says, adding that the stalls did not meet the standards. “The decision has been taken because the stands’ owners exceeded the limits. The administration must react if the traffic is threatened,” he says.