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Bundibugyo Clashes Affect Business

Christine Bbira, a businesswoman in Ntandi trading center says the clashes have come at a time when her business was booming. Bbira, who operates a wholesale shop, says that her shop has remained closed since Tuesday.

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Business has slowed down in Bundibugyo district due to the tension between the Bamba and Bakonzo. Some of the traders interviewed by URN say the clashes have taken a huge toll on their businesses. 

 

Some of the affected businesses include hotels, shops, saloons and markets. Shops in the usually busy Ntandi, Kirumiya and Ntoroto trading centers have remained under key lock because of the attacks. Despite the heavy deployment of the army and police in the trading centers, traders are reluctant to open for fear of being attacked.

 

 

Christine Bbira, a businesswoman in Ntandi trading center says the clashes have come at a time when her business was booming. Bbira, who operates a wholesale shop, says that her shop has remained closed since Tuesday. According to Bbira, she has lost hope of cashing in on Easter sales.

George Baguma, a saloon operator in Ntoroto trading center, told URN on Friday evening that he had not received a single client since the attack on Kidodo police post on Wednesday. He explains that most residents have opted to stay in their houses.  

The Banana market at Kirumiya trading centre has also been deserted by the traders. Some of the farmers from the neighboring Kabarole and Ntoroko districts are counting losses since there are no traders to buy their produce. 

Francis Baguma, a banana farmer in Itoojo Sub County in Kabarole district says he is stuck with more than 100 bunches of bananas since Tuesday due to lack buyers. Prior to the fresh clashes in Bundibugyo Baguma was selling more than 200 bunches each day to traders in Ntandi and Kirumiya. 

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While meeting the Bakonzo and Bamba community on Thursday at Ntandi trading centre, Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police, assured them of security and requested traders to open their businesses.

 

However Vincent Mbambu, a trader says that they will only open if a permanent police post is established in the area. He says the officers deployed will leave once the situation has stabilised, leaving resident prone to attacks.

Mbambu laments that since the 2014 attacks, residents have been calling for the establishment of a police post in the area in vain.   

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