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Closure of garages leaves mechanics starving

some of the Mechanics and other business operators pitching camp in the garage to allegedly protect their properties from thugs.

Mbale, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The suspicion of garage operations across the country has hit hard mechanics and other people operating in Mbale garage.

The garage hosts thousands of people mechanics, food vendors and auto mobile spare parts dealers among others.

URN visited the garage on Wednesday and found some of the mechanics and business operators guarding their closed premises from thugs.

They told URN that despite agreeing to comply with the president’s directives to prevent the spread of the Corona virus pandemic, they can’t leave their businesses to thieves.

Some of the traders have welded their shops to protect them from possible break-ins.

They argued that thugs are taking advantage of the curfew to take their properties, adding that some spare parts shops were broken into on the first night of the curfew.      

Godfrey Otieno, a welder says most of the people working in the garage have heeded to the presidential directives to stay home, but they want the president to deploy security to guard their property.   

Sam Kassaja, a dealer in auto-mobile spare parts, says he will be coming to town every day to check on his business despite the fact that he isn’t working.

He however, wants the president to revise his directives to allow garages to continue operating to repair ambulances, government vehicles and private vehicles involved in emergency services.

Hussein Kato Nsubuga, another mechanic says the lock down found him without any savings, which has taken a huge toll on his ability to provide for his family.    

Hussein Fumbara, another mechanic, says their families have been depending on his daily earnings from the garage, saying the lock is a major blow to his family.

Hajji Rajab Nabikamba also a mechanic in the garage says they are not sure whether the lockdown will only last for two weeks or longer. He says unless something is done, they may be prompted to demonstrate.

The Elgon Region Police Spokesperson, Rogers Taitika has assured the garage community of full security, saying no one will be allowed to take advantage of the current situation to steal people’s property.

He advised them to take the president’s directives in good faith, saying they are only meant for a short period to prevent the spread of disease.



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