Traders to Stage ‘Massive Protest’ over Continued Closure of Arcades, Stella Nyanzi Arrested

Traders protesting continued closure of arcades on Wednesday.

Addressing media, the traders’ leaders backed by Makerere University researcher, Dr. Stella Nyanzi issued tge ultimatum and called on government to reopen arcades and announce a relief package for traders affected by the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Among others, the traders demanded for a waiver on rent and taxes, and increase in working hours.

“If the demands are not met, we have decided to hold protests starting July 13,” the traders announced.

The traders say they have lost both money and goods mostly those who deal with perishable products.

Police have since arrested a number of traders including the aspirant for Kampala Woman Member of Parliament, Dr Stella Nyanzi.

In his recent address, President Museveni said arcades would remain closed because they pose a bigger threat in spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

He reasoned that the premises accommodate overwhelming numbers of people including clients and traders.

Owners of arcades, including Hamis Kiggundu,  Sudhir Ruparelia, Godfrey Kirumira and Rashid Ssemambo, have told the government that they are not ready to waive rent arrears for their tenants.

The landlords say they have bank loans that they are paying on top of paying utility bills such as water and power for the buildings.

The landlords made the revelation while meeting Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde late last month.

Ms Kyambadde was conveying his message from the President, in which he appealed to the landlords not to demand for rent arrears of three months, a time the country faced stay-home lockdown and the traders were not working.

However, the Landlords said they could only give the tenants more time to pay.

Rajiv Ruparelia, representing Crane Management Services, later hinted at the possibility of rent waiver only if government offered tax waivers to the landlordss.

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