Uganda: Police Close Shops in Jinja

Police in Jinja City in eastern Uganda have dispersed all traders who had opened their shops on Monday as they enforced the virus-induced lockdown announced by President Museveni on Friday.

The shops closed are located on Main Street, Nizam road, Alice Muloki road, Central park, and other parts of Jinja City as police ordered all businesses to immediately close before action would be taken.

However, some retail shops, restaurants, and mobile money outlets were left to operate.

Mr Peter Muzamiru, a businessman on Main Street wondered why security operatives had ordered them to close their businesses without giving them alternatives for survival.

"We are paying millions of money in just rent and taxes; our children are home, they need what to eat and the police are ordering us to close our shops. They have not given us an option because our landlords need their money," Mr Muzamiru said.

Mr Ali Mukama, another businessman said government should have given them at least one week to prepare themselves for the lockdown.

"The president should give us more time before they close our shops. Let them give us food; we shall stay at home. We are law abiding citizens," Mr Mukama said.

ASP Morice Niyonzima, the acting DPC of Jinja police station said the operation woyld go on because some people had allegedly turned their shops into "small bars."

"We are implementing the presidential directive. The president was clear that only retail shops should operate but people have turned them into small bars. We have deployed heavily in town to ensure that no one opens the shop," he told this reporter.

Summary of new Covid-19 curbs

Ban on public and private transport restored: Only cargo vehicles can move with a maximum of two people.

Entebbe Airport will remain open.

Markets remain open but vendors urged to camp in markets for 42 days.

Bodabodas barred from carrying passengers save for sick people with letters from local council authorities. Boda Bodas can only move up to 5pm.

Essential sectors that may continue working: Security companies, Medical workers, vet doctors, Utility service providers like mass media, water, electricity etc

Broad sectors to remain open: Agriculture, Industries, Tourism, Cargo transport, health and medical services.

Retail shops remain operational until 7pm.

7pm-5am curfew introduced.

Leisure hubs like bars, betting centres, casinos, beaches, gyms closed.

Burials restricted to a maximum of 20 people.

Sporting and gaming activities suspended for 42 days.

Restaurants/hotels remain open.

Political and public gatherings still prohibited.

Factories and construction sites stay open with an option for camping.

Re-opening of learning institutions deferred until after 42 days.

Prayer & worship hubs remain closed for 42 days.

Shopping malls and shopping centres like Kikuubo closed for 42 days.

Mandatory wearing of masks in public space.

Keep a social distance of at least 2metres.

All measures last 42 days until the situation is reviewed.

All disciplines that remain open must observe government mandated-SOPs.

Office of the Prime Minister to map out special interest groups in need of relief.

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