Security agencies have engaged in running battles with traders
in Masaka Municipality over a decision to close all general merchandise
shops despite President Museveni’s clearance.
Several traders had reopened
their shops in response to a move by President Yoweri Museveni to ease COVID-19 restrictions with effect from Tuesday, May 26.
However, the security teams, comprising the Police and
army closed all retail and general merchandise
shops and ordered operators to return home. The security has only spared hardware wholesale stores,
Pharmaceuticals, Supermarkets and other food stores.
Muhammad Nsubuga, the Greater Masaka Regional Police
Spokesperson says they acted on new instructions from the District COVID-19 taskforce that asked them to restrict the influx of people in the town given
the apparent threat of community COVID-19 transmission of the area. He alleges that people had resumed converging on the
streets of the town without adhering to the safety guidelines of physical distancing
which presented high risks for spreading the virus.
Herman Ssentongo, the Masaka Resident District
Commissioner also the taskforce Chairperson says the decision was
taken during an emergency meeting on Wednesday with an intention of reducing the
risk of community transmission of the virus, which is apparent in the area.
According to him, halting the reopening of the general merchandise shops comes in the wake of increasing cases of community COVID-19 transmission;
with four cases so far registered in the area, within a space of three days.
Ssentongo argues that their decision was based on the apparent
structural inadequacies to manage the rising number of patients, thereby
preferring to prevent spillovers that can overstretch the available capacity.
in; “we are also looking…
in; “ate nga n’ekilala…
However, Musa Kaboggoza and Deo Kasibante, the Chairperson
and Masaka Traders Association and Vice Chairperson respectively, have criticized
the Taskforce for creating confusion despite the losses they have so far
Kaboggoza also blamed security entities for not notifying the
community in advance, instead, moving to unleash anger on the innocent
businessmen who were observing physical distancing guidelines.
in; “Tugenze okulaba….
The affected traders have blamed the district taskforce for arbitrarily taking what they describe as inconsiderate decisions that are incoherent
with President Museveni’s decision that cleared them to open up.
//Cuein; (Luganda) “president yalagira….
Despite closing the shops, some of the traders are still seated on the streets