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KACITA forms arcade security committees after Kampala bombing

KACITA boss Musoke Nagenda. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala Capital City Traders’ Association (KACITA) has formed arcade security committees as a measure to improve vigilance and safety for traders and their customers in the aftermath of the bomb attacks in the city.

The arrangement follows reports of laxity among members of the business community especially in arcades, even after the attacks that rocked the city on Tuesday, when two explosives were exploded; one at the Central Police Station in Kampala and another along Parliamentary Avenue in the Central Business District.

There are more than 200 arcades spread across the various streets in Kampala. Each of the arcades which are built close to each other are occupied by thousands of traders and also attract buyers in multitudes on a daily basis. But many of them have lax security measures with free entry and exit and no security checks.

But KACITA acting chairperson Thaddeus Musoke Nagenda, told journalists in Kampala that the committees created out of the already existing infrastructure of the COVID-19 taskforce, have now been tasked to decongest corridors, restrict access and sensitize traders on the danger at hand.

Nagenda also asked Kampala Capital City Authority and security agencies to restore trade order in Kampala and ensure that all streets are void of vendors whom they say are a big security threat to the city. He adds that KACITA has also written to security agencies, seeking guidance on what the business community should do to avoid possible attacks.

KACITA deputy spokesperson Denis Jjemba Mulondo fears that the damage of such attacks would be devastating if terrorists attack congested areas like arcades and open markets.

Meanwhile, several public entities in Kampala’s Central Business District have heightened their security vigilance. Many of the shopping centres have deployed security personnel to check all persons accessing the buildings and taxi parks together with their belongings. Access is restricted for those with heavy luggage.

Mustafa Nsereko, the secretary for security in the New Taxi Park says that they have blocked all, except three of the entrances to the park for both vehicles and passengers. They have also increased security presence at the entrances that remained operational, but are wary that the inaction by the arcade owners remains a threat.

Entrances have also been closed off at the Usafi market, while in Namayiba bus park, there are more than two guards deployed on each of the entrances. However, there were no visible security measures in the St Balikuddembe market, also known as Owino, Nakasero market and Kikuubo lane.

A zone leader in St Balikuddembe market who was only identified as Sseremba said the market administration held a meeting earlier in the day and resolved to work with police to deploy non uniformed officers and deploy guards on each of the entrances to the market.

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