Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Business in Kampala’s central business district and other city suburbs has remained low today, as President Yoweri Museveni takes oath, for another term of office.
Several businesses remained closed in the Central Business District as President Museveni prepared to take oath at the Kololo Independence Ceremonial grounds. Entrance into town through Wandegeya was limited for motor vehicles only, while Bodaboda cyclists could only access the city centre through Lumumba avenue.
Along Kampala road, almost all arcades were closed in the early morning. Only restaurants were operating but even these were not fully operational. The situation along Jinja road was the same, however, arcades were opened later in the day, in downtown Kampala, along Nakivubo road, Kikuubo Lane and William Street.
Kisekka Market area, usually a hotbed for politically motivated violence, was as calm as the rest of the city. Fewer shops were opened, albeit, with little or no customers, a problem that traders blamed on the heightened security operations across the city centre. The operations which started last evening saw hundreds of people arrested for defying nighttime curfew guidelines and hundreds of motorcycles and vehicles impounded.
Frank Mubiru, a bodaboda mechanic in Ndeeba says that the operations have affected his work as a mechanic because many of his clients are struggling to recover their impounded motorcycles from the police. He adds that the same operations that restrict people from accessing some parts of Kampala have kept away potential customers.
Sofia Nankya, a vendor at Kibuye market says that all her stock has remained on the stall due to a lack of customers. She says that her customers are workers that come in the evening as they head home from work but these have been scanty since last evening.
Hamdu Muyomba, another food vendor in Kibuye market says that the curfew has affected the traders and business people more because all their customers are now keeping home in fear. Muyomba says that those who deal in perishables are losing a lot of money, as a result.
Aidah Bugyo, a fresh food vendor at Katwe market says that transport challenges are affecting her sales because many of their customers have decided to stay home to avoid the inconveniences in town.
Prossy Najjingo, another vendor at Katwe market says that the security harassment that was witnessed last evening while trying to implement curfew guidelines ahead of the swearing-in ceremony was enough to scare people away. She, however, noted that despite knowing that the turn up will be low, she had to show up as she deals with perishable commodities.