Traders in Kampala have asked the government to lobby for free interest
loans for their businesses that were affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
In March, President Museveni issued several measures to combat the
spread of the virus.
They included restrictions on the movement of people, including
use of public or private vehicles, motorcycles, and directed closure of all
shopping malls, arcades, hardware shops, saloons and lodges.
Mike Opolot a trader dealing in shoes says that he is stranded and
frustrated over loss of business. He says that they are finding it hard to sell
//Cue in: “Ebintu byaffe mu…”
Cue out: “… loan kati zetulindiridee.”//
Moses Babalanda, who sells shoes at Skylight Arcade says, traders have incurred
big losses and thus cannot pay off their loans. He wants the government to request banks to restructure loan payments.
//Cue in: “Tuli mu loss…”
Cue out: “… President si y’eyakireeta.”//
Bashir Muwonge, LCI Chairperson, Shauriyako zone says the
government should provide them with interest-free loans through injecting more
funds in microfinance institutions which traders can easily access.
//Cue in: “Tusaba gavumenti okulabika…”
Cue out: “… wano emyezi essatu”//
The Chairperson of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), Everest Kayondo,
says that the government should use part of the 1.9 trillion shillings from the
International Monetary Fund to support traders to recover from the losses suffered.
//Cue in: “Stock which may…”
Cue out: “… our members suffered.”//
The money was approved under the Rapid Credit Facility program
that is meant to help poor countries pick up pieces after being affected by the
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainties with the
public calling on commercial banks to restructure loan payments at a time when
many companies have suspended work and set most staff home.
Last month, President Museveni said that the government will discuss with the banks to ensure
that people aren’t forced to pay interest for the period they weren’t working.