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City traders vow to reopen arcades tomorrow despite ban

A security guard at one of the closed shops

A security guard at one of the closed shops

Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) has urged city traders to defy a government directive and reopen arcades tomorrow Tuesday. 

"All traders operating your business in arcades come and open your shops tomorrow on 14th July 2020 as we follow directives of the ministry of Health (S.O.Ps),” reads a leaflet distributed by KACITA titled 'Enough is Enough.' 

Last week, KACITA issued a five-day ultimatum to government to reopen arcades after four months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Evaristo Kayondo, the chairperson KACITA, says that they decided to take a bold step to reopen the arcade since government hasn’t heeded to their ultimatum. He says government issued guidelines for reopening, and the arcades were inspected but wonders why they haven't been reopened despite their commitment to comply.

He says, as a result, they are working with arcade proprietors to grant traders access to their shops while observing the set guidelines. The guidelines include among others ensuring that the premises and access ways are clean, hygienic and free of any obstruction.

The proprietors of the arcades and traders were also asked to have adequate natural lighting and ventilation, dedicated entry and exit points and dedicated persons to man them at all times. KCCA also said that there should be CCTV cameras at each entry, exit and levels and measurement of the body temperature of clients and attendants using functional infrared thermometers.  

They are also expected to establish a dedicated isolation room in case they get any suspects. There should be handwashing facilities, areas of convenience and dust bins. All tenants and attendants should be registered, wear face masks and always keep two meters away from their customers.  

Joseph Kamungolo, a second-hand clothes dealer, says his stock worth Shs 6 million is gathering dust in the stores at Gazaland. Kamungolo says since the lockdown was declared in March, he hasn’t had access to his stock and has been surviving on tokens from friends.

Another trader dealing in carpets, says he cannot access his store at Jesco Beauty Centre and yet his display at Gazaland is getting finished. He wants government to reopen the arcades to allow them to resume normal operations.  

When our reporter visited some of the arcades, he found the corridors congested with traders, customers and passersby. There was no sign of social distancing. Inside shops, only a handful of people were seen wearing masks. 


+1 #1 Akot 2020-07-13 19:33
Ugandans survive through labour/salaires as there is no public/social serives to ensure the people are helped by government during times like this! Going back tobusiness no matter what, is the only way Ugandans can feed themselves, pay bills.

European businesses, schools are reopening step by step, while governments ensure every body gets help to feed themselves, pay bills!

Only good governance give chance in situation like this.

Some Americans & Europeans blame/ctitisize president Trump for being rackless with covid-19, unaware that Americans have constitutional rights to own arms & if situation gets worse because of confinement/lockdown, Americans would get frustrated, mad & UAS will be on fire!

Ugandans, without public/social services, have no choice but go back to work, but MUST avoid body contact, spit/caugh/sneeze in handkerchief, let in very few customers at a time!
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0 #2 kabayekka 2020-07-13 20:58
One cannot see how these health measure s can reduce congestion in the single city of Kampala?

It is imperative to allow these Kampala businesses to take advantage of the increased number of cities in the country.
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0 #3 kabayekka 2020-07-14 06:28
Indeed every dog should be strapped up back to its kennal. Human congestion is indeed a health hazard on the environment of this planet.
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