Police clashes with traders as they attempt to reopen arcades

Police clashes with traders as they attempt to reopen arcades

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KAMPALA, UGANDA — Police and the military have deployed heavily in the city centre to stop traders from forcefully opening arcades.

On Monday, traders under their umbrella body, Kampala Capital City Traders’ Association (KACITA) asked colleagues to forcefully open arcades after being closed for over four months since March over the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, on Tuesday morning police, military, and Local Defence Unit personnel deployed near several arcades to stop traders from resuming work contrary to the presidential directives on stopping the spread of Coronavirus.

Deputy Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire confirmed the heavy deployment after getting wind of plans by traders in arcades to resume work.

“We had to deploy downtown to counter their acts. There have been no amendments to guidelines issued by the president and ministry of health on reopening of arcades,” Owoyesigyire said.

He warned that heavy security deployment will continue downtown.

“We shall keep deployed to counter them.”

The Nile Post has also learnt that there is an ongoing meeting between the Ministry of Trade and representatives from KACITA.

On Monday cabinet discussed the fate of arcades and it was resolved that the matter be handled by the Taskforce on Coronavirus.

Last month, after a directive from President Museveni, Ministry of Trade, Kampala Ministry and KCCA carried out a pilot study on how arcades can be reopened safely.

Consequently, two arcades were reopened but with only half of the occupants in each shop.

The traders were also asked to observe the Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures including wearing of facemasks and washing of hands.

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