A section of Kampala city traders yesterday defied the ministerial directives of remaining closed until August 7 and reopened their shops for business.
The traders had at the weekend been advised by Kampala minister Minsa Kabanda to wait for certificates of compliance. The certificates are to be issued upon inspection of their respective business premises.
Landlords installing CCTV cameras on their business premises, clearing of kiosks in Kikuubo to decongest pathways, clearance of corridors and access ways in arcades, temperature screening facilities, different access points for malls, proper hygiene and sanitation facilities were some of the new requirements for acarde traders to reopen.
A section of traders who spoke to Daily Monitor yesterday said they were not following the minister’s directive, but rather that of the President.
“We have just come out of a 42-day lockdown and again she wants us not to work for another week. Let her put herself in our shoes,” Ms Sylvia Nabukenya, a cosmetics dealer in Gazaland, an arcade in downtown Kampala, said.
“Instead, we are listening to the President who allowed us to open shops under the condition that we observe strict procedures and as you can see, I have adhered to the advice,” she added.
Ms Nabukenya was wearing a facemask and had gloves on her hands. She also had a sanitiser at her workstation.
A mini survey conducted by Daily Monitor showed that most of the arcades and city malls were observing standard operating procedures with both traders and customers wearing facemasks, security guards checking temperature of clients before accessing the premises and handwashing facilities mounted at different entrances for customers.
The challenge, however, was social distancing of two metres given the large crowds that access the central business district. There was a section for people who were not wearing facemasks.
Meanwhile, some of the arcades and malls remained closed. The traders said their landlords had ordered them to first pay rent for the previous two months. But Mr Tom Kizito, who operates a men’s clothing shop in Park Enkadde Mall, said they were respecting the minister’s directive.
Arcades/ malls/ shopping centres that opened yesterday
1. Ham Shopping Grounds
2. Park View Shopping Centre
3. Kizito Towers
4. Kisakya Maria
5. Magoba Shopping Mall
6. French plaza
8. Corner House
9. Parkview shopping Centre
10. Qualicel bus terminal shopping centre
Those that were closed
1. Mukwano Arcade
2. Mutaasa Kafeero
3. Park Enkadde Mall
4. City Shopping Mall
5. Capital Centre
6. Pentagon City plaza
7. Hanifa towers
8. Nana Centre
9. Temuseo Mpoza plaza