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Need to Revisit Operation WID

Need to Revisit Operation WID

The launching of Operation WID is a step in the right direction but the manner in which it is carried out has not gone down well with a lot of people, especially the affected petty traders most of whom are now viewing the operation as a calculated attempt to target them. The fact is that many petty traders have been economically paralyzed by the operation and are consequently very disgruntled.

This medium is of the view that government did not make the necessary preparations to make the operation easily successful and less harmful to especially the traders. Also, we are having the fear that the operation will boomerang if its manner of execution is not revisited. Oftentimes, we have witnessed violent confrontations between the police and some reluctant traders. Some of those charged with the responsibility of executing the operation lack the requisite experience and integrity to carry out such a sensitive operation, evidenced by the fact that some are now involved in soliciting bribes while others are engaged in malicious and selective demolition, a situation that has discredited the whole exercise.

It is our opinion that government would have first provided sufficient market structures, adequate sensitization and notification before launching the operation. Where are the evicted traders going to be relocated? This remains the big question. Already, the affected traders have started agitating for their right as tax payers to be provided a place to sell. They have made it categorically clear that they just cannot totally abandon the streets until they are relocated. This is a clear signal that the operation, if not revisited, is heading for a woeful failure as evident in the fact that the traders have slowly begun occupying the streets once more.

Therefore, this medium is recommending that goes back to the drawing table and involve all the stakeholders in mapping the way forward, otherwise, Operation WID may end up failing excellently as Operation Free Flow.

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