Vendors in Kumi Municipal Council have accused the Municipal leadership of failing to provide security in the market to help prevent the rampant theft by street kids.
The vendors in Kumi Old Market say that the street kids also known as Ikok break into the market almost every week to steal property and merchandise during the nights.
Mariam Anela, one of the market vendors in Kumi Old Market says that besides stealing, the street kids beat traders who reach the market early or close late at night and sometimes sexually assault female traders.
John Opolot, the Chairperson of Kumi Market Vendors says that the situation has been made worse because the Police quickly releases some of the street kids arrested over theft and other crimes in the municipality.
But Richard Ochom, the Kumi Municipality Mayor says that council has resolved to have all the street kids arrested and taken to remand home in Mbale before Sunday (Christmas Day).
Anthony Nseko, Deputy Resident District Commissioner in Kumi says that besides arresting street kids, they are engaging other stakeholders including parents to ensure that they provide and look after the children so that they don’t end up in the streets.
He says that most of the children turn into the streets after being mistreated by their parents at home.
The Police has arrested several members of Kumi notorious criminal gang popularly known as Ikok (termites) over the months but the situation has not improved, according to Kumi residents.
The gangsters assault their targets physically and sexually, sometimes leaving them crippled. They also rob residents of valuable items like phones, wallets, purses, and handbags among others.