As traders are frustrated about government reluctance to issue a directive allowing arcades to resume business, news coming in indicates that government will reopen Mutaasa Kafeero and Park View arcades in downtown Kampala as part of a pilot study on the effectiveness of implementing COVID-19 safety guidelines.
This was agreed after two Ministers, Betty Amongi (Kampala) and Amelia Kyambadde (Trade) alongside Dr Monica Musenero, the Presidential Advisor on COVID-19 toured several arcades on Friday last week.
The Ministers revealed that the pilot study will enable them to establish whether business can resume in arcades without causing a spike in the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“The President directed that I, Hon Amelia, and his technical team of scientific advisors inspect the arcades and come up with scientific measures on how to allow them to operate,” Amongi said.
The Minister also chaired a meeting between arcade landlords and traders where they agreed that that the number of traders sharing shops will be reduced to half in order to observe social distancing and other precautionary measures aimed at fighting the pandemic.
The issue of rent remains unsolved as landlords claim that they can only forgive their tenants if the government gives them a tax waiver.
Arcades and boda bodas are among the businesses that have been denied the chance to resume operation despite owners/riders claiming that they are ready to observe the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs).