Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala City Traders Association-KACITA has mobilized traders in arcades to reopen their shops on Tuesday in protest against continued closure by government.
“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 days 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 arcades since government hasn’t heeded to their ultimatum.
He says government issued guidelines for reopening and 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 hand washing facilities, areas of convenience and dust bins.
All tenants and attendants should be registered, wear face masks and keep two meters away from their customers.
Joseph Kamungolo, a second hand cloth dealer, says his stock worth Shillings 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 traders dealing in carpets says he cannot access his store at Jesco beauty center and yet his display at Gazaland is getting finished.
He wants government to reopen the arcades to allow them to resume their normal operations.
URN visited some of the arcades and found the corridors congested with traders, customers and passersby. There was no sign of social distancing expect inside some shops while only a handful of people were seen wearing masks.