President Yoweri Museveni through Kampala Affairs Minister Betty Amongi has given traders in Kikuubo, downtown Kampala one week to comply with the COVID-19 guidelines or face closure.
The warning comes against the backdrop of an increasing number of people shopping in the area.
Minister Amongi, during a meeting with representatives of arcades owners, tenants and health experts at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Friday evening, said the President had warned that if the traders failed to abide by the measures in one week, the place would be closed
“The meeting we had with them (traders) in the morning discussed how we can do it (close it) or whether we give law enforcement teams the chance to compel them to comply. But if they fail to listen in the next three days, we shall cordon off the place and close it,” the Minister said.
Amongi was responding to a submission by businessman Hamis Kiggundu, who said as they discussed the modalities of opening arcades, there was a big concern that people of Kikuubo were not following the guidelines, including wearing masks.
“We humbly request that if arcades are to be opened, the Government should be tough on hawkers and ask all traders to go back into the buildings where we can give them instructions to follow,” he said.
Kiggundu added that in an earlier meeting with trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde, the arcade owners agreed to implement all the standard operating procedures before opening.
Similar concerns were raised by City Tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia, who described the sitiation in Kikuubo as a “dynamite and a time bomb”. He said in order to control the spread of COVID-19, the Government needed to regulate such areas.
Amongi said surveillance teams informed them that the congestion in Kikuubo was related to the closure of arcades.