After hearing reports that any time from now President Museveni may re-lockdown the country over rapid COVID-19 transmission, Kampala Capital City Traders’ Association (KACITA) Board members on behalf of the entire business community in Kampala have revealed that come what may, they are not willing to abide to the President’s directives over excessive poverty in their families.
According to KACITA General Secretary Mr Musoke Thaddeus Nagenda, there are strong measures that have been put in place in a bid to control the spread of the deadly COVID19 pandemic in Kampala hence no need to lock them down again.
It should be remembered that the 18th Presidential address on COVID-19 and lockdown, Museveni eased restrictions on traders and directed them to work under Ministry of Health guidelines and adhere to all COVID-19 to curb the transmission of the virus.
To ensure that his directives are followed, President prompted to form the Inter-Ministerial Committee, Technical COVID-19 force, Inspection Committee, National Task force and Kampala COVID-19 task force all meant to enforce and monitor the adherence of COVID-19 guidelines, however according to Minister of Kampala Capital City Authority Betty Amongi, traders have flouted COVID-19 guidelines hence its rapid transmission in Kampala.
Meanwhile, KACITA also confirmed Minister’s statements saying that increase of infections is due to failure to follow SOPs like use of masks, washing hands and laxity in the transport sector and arcades but believes there is another way to curb the virus than locking them down for the second time.
“We strongly oppose the roaming lockdown since most of the countries like USA, Germany, Italy, South Africa are adopting other measures of fighting COVID-19 as they consider economic sustainability”, said KACITA Secretary Musoke.
He added, “It was clearly announced and directed by the president of Uganda that arcades should be opened up and start operating following the set Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to curb COVID-19 and therefore the solution should be thorough inspection, monitoring.”
He also noted that, the fact that lockdown has very many negative aspects like increased economic depression, increased domestic violence, depression among people which has increased the levels of suicide victims due to failure to meet their personal obligations, failure by the government to formulate a stimulus economic package to help the business community which could cater for rent arrears, bank loans and interests,recapitalisation program and others.
However, KACITA acknowledges a need for arcade compliance task force to continue sensitising the public on the recommended SOPs and monitor how they are being implemented, other than suggesting for the second lockdown from the President.
“We therefore call upon our members to fully comply with the SOPs and also the enforcement team to energise the operations against non-compliance”, Musoke further explained.