Uganda: Traders in Kampala CBD Lock Shops

Street vendors in Kampala (file Photo)
16 April 2024

Traders in the central business district of Kampala and other parts of city have decided to keep their shops shuttered until they have the opportunity to meet with the President in significant numbers.

The decision, spearheaded by the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), speaks to the growing frustration with what they perceive as the government's neglect of their concerns.

Thaddeus Musoke, chairman of KACITA, emphasized the severity of the situation.

"Traders have resolved to keep their shops closed nationwide due to the government's lack of concern towards our plight," Musoke said.

Downtown Kampala remains heavily guarded with visible presence of security as traders prepare for their demonstration, seeking solace in prayer as they gear up for the challenge ahead.

"The only way to console ourselves and gather the courage to take our next course of action is through prayer," remarked Nagenda.

Traders lamented the prolonged disregard for their plight, noting that despite promises of incentives to dissuade demonstrations, no tangible documentation has been provided by the government.

Ramathan Ggoobi, secretary to the treasury, reiterated the government's stance, asserting that the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) is here to stay.

Last week, despite KACITA's appeal to refrain from demonstrations, a faction of traders under the Federation of Uganda Traders Association (FUTA) closed shop in protest.

"With KACITA joining the demonstration and mobilizing for nationwide shop closures, the pressure mounts on the President to address the concerns of the traders," added Nagenda.

All eyes are on whether the President will heed their calls and engage in dialogue to find a way forward.

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