By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: In March, President Museveni ordered for closure of all none-food markets, schools, shops, Salons among other businesses to curb COVID-19 however later, he eased the lockdown for some businesses in the country leaving arcades locked.
Now traders under Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), a business support association, have threatened to open up their shops following a three months lockdown.
According to Mr Kayondo Everest the chairperson KACITA, said they have been engaging in endless meetings with city traders, arcade owners, police and the Ministry of Health to see people work again adding that traders are ready to adhere to all SOPs which include wearing face masks, washing hands, emergency room and observing social distance.
“We hope to see police cooperating with us because we have been working together to seek that all buildings meet required standards to open and they have indeed met them” he said.
Mr Kayondo added that opening for them to work is the only way to handle rent issues since most landlords have not given tenants their position on whether to pay for it because arcades are closed. “We will announce what will be next tomorrow but top on agenda will be having all tenants to come and have their shops open.” He said.
He also faulted health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng for flouting Covid-19 guidelines when she addressed a congregation without observing social distance on top of not wearing face masks yet this has been a reason of them being denied to work.
These comes day after Minister of Information and Communications Technology and cabinet spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said that government was holding talks with key stakeholders to reopen businesses on arcades and places of worship which were closed over Covid-19.
Nabakooba said,”Government has been consulting leaders from these sectors to ensure proper safety measures are in place when operations resume.”
Last week, the Minister for Kampala Betty Amongi said that arcade owners were the only stumbling block to the reopening of arcades since they had not yet availed the documents showing how they will abide by guidelines set by government.
Earlier this Month, traders petitioned Parliament, asking for a stimulus package and government safeguard to be able to operate because they have been out of business for about four months which they say up to-date government has not responded to them.