MBARARA – Authorities in Mbarara Municipality were on Tuesday forced to reopen Rwebikoona Market after traders camped at the Office of the Resident District Commissioner (RDC).
The market was closed on April 10 on the orders of the Covid-19 taskforce led by RDC Lt Col. James Mwesigye over failure to observe standard operating procedures put by the government.
But on Tuesday, about 50 traders sat in the compound at the district headquarters at Kamukuzi, saying that the continued closure of the market was turning them into paupers.
They also claimed that they were choking on bank loans.
Mr Eliab Nuwagasha, the chairperson of the affected traders, said they have since put provisions for observing all these guidelines but authorities have been reluctant to allow them operate.
“The market has 1000 people that operate here, last week we reduced
them to 60, accommodating only those that deal in agricultural produce, we put hand washing facilities at the gate and every stall and shop, each trader is 10 meters away from the other but the leaders refused to come and look at this improvement and reopen it,” Mr
The RDC then moved to inspect the market together with State Minister for Local Government Jennifer Namuyangu, LC5 Chairperson Capt. Bamurangaki Tumusiime and the Mayor Robert Kakyebezi.
“We have allowed back into the market, strive to observe the standard
operating procedures least it will be closed again. The virus is here
with us and we don’t want to take chances,” Ms Namuyangu said.