KAMPALA — City traders’ umbrella body KACITA has asked all traders to open their businesses starting Tuesday July 14.
In a notice to all traders, Kacita asked all its members to resume work but “under Standard Operating Procedures.”
“Enough is enough, all traders operating your business in arcades, come and open your shops tomorrow 14th July, 2020 as we follow the directives of the Ministry of Health (S.O.Ps),” the body Chairman, Everest Kayondo wrote.
He said they have resolved to forcefully reopen the arcades, “because government has refused to listen to us”.
Traders had lasts week warned of that they would stage a massive protest in the city center if their demands were not met by July 13.
The announcement was made by the traders’ leaders who had gathered in Kampala on Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Arcades were among the places closed when the government declared a nationwide lockdown.
Later, the government eased lockdown and opened some commercial areas including standalone shops, garages and Malls but arcades were left closed because government feared that they attract large numbers of people.
Last week, the Minister of Kampala Affairs, Betty Amongi issued guidelines to arcade owners before the business centres can be reopened.
The guidelines issued include; keeping the premises and access ways clean, hygienic and not blocked, and that corridors and access ways are free of any obstruction, stockpiles and temporarily structures.
The arcade owners and the business people who operate in the business centres were asked to have adequate natural lighting and ventilation in the premises, a dedicated entry and exit point and dedicated persons to man them at all times.
She said there should be a closed Circuit Television Camera-CCTV at each entry, exit and level and a body temperature screening of clients and attendants using functional infrared thermometers. There should be a dedicated isolation room in case they get any suspects.
There should be handwashing facilities, areas of convenience and dust bins. There should also be cleaners dressed in personal protective gear and that there should be adequate detergents to use in cleaning.
All tenants and attendants operating were asked to be registered and that they should wear masks and keep two meters away from their customers. Barriers should be put to ensure distancing.
The Minister said all customers entering the arcades should be wearing masks and maintain a two-meter physical distancing. Management is also required to appoint compliance officers after training them on the guidelines set.
According to Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Betty Amongi these guidelines were reached between KCCA, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade and the representatives of arcade owners in meetings conducted after visiting and assessing the status quo in the arcades.
Police Warns traders
The Uganda Police has sent a strong warning to traders in arcades against their planned unauthorized opening of arcades tomorrow, Tuesday.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, SP Patrick Onyango, says the traders ought to wait until government lifts its closure of arcades.
“We call upon them (traders) to be calm and patient as we wait for the government directives on when they will open. As of now, there is no arcade that will be allowed to open,” SP Onyango told MbararaCity News.
“Until government issues another directive, the current directive is that they are closed and it has not changed and so, as Police, we shall firmly implement the government directives on arcades,”; he added.