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Non Food Sellers Decry Closure of Markets

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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Traders who don’t deal in foodstuffs have expressed fear over President Museveni’s directive which stopped them from working for 14 days.

In an effort to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the country, Mr Museveni on Wednesday issued an order shutting all markets except those selling foodstuffs.

Today, we visited Nakawa market to ascertain whether non-food sellers complied with the presidential directive.

Although we found the entire section of non-food sellers empty, some of the traders who have been affected by the directive called on the President to think about their families and people around them.

Gerald Kirunda sells shoes in the market. He is afraid of what lies ahead in the next 14 days of not working.

“The situation is disheartening. I would have resorted to going in the village but transport is also banned. I appeal to Government to distinguish between an ordinary and first class citizen,” he said.

Asked what he plans to do in the next 14 days, Kirunda said, “I am thinking about selling foodstuffs.”

Curious to know whether he will get space to vend foodstuffs in the heavily congested Nakawa market, Kirunda told us, “I will put foodstuffs at my selling point where I have been operating from.”

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“But I don’t know whether it will affect my colleagues who deal in foodstuffs,” he added.

Though he agrees that the directive is for the betterment of the country, Kirunda said the Government should have warned them in the first place in order to get prepared for the tough times.

Rodgers Nayire who deals in electronics told us that the President issued an order without considering an ordinary person.

“For us we look for daily food. The day you don’t work, you cannot get what to eat. We are now operating in hiding and even our usual customers cannot come because they also fear for their lives not to be arrested. Since I left home, I have not made any single coin. I don’t know what I will take to my children in the evening.”

Nayire said that after Government issued an order, ordinary people should be provided for with humanitarian assistance such as posho and beans and order Land Lords not to demand rent from tenants.

“If he doesn’t do that, crime especially theft is going to rise.”

After hearing their cries, we proceeded to Nakawa market chairman Charles Okuni to find out whether the management of the market has any plans for the affected persons who have been paying taxes.

Okuni they told us that Government should look into the matter saying that as management, they have no solution to bring hope to the affected persons.

“That is the only way they have been surviving. I think Government should look into that because me personally, I will not be able to give a solution,” Okuni told Chimpreports.

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