Traders have asked security personnel to stop firing tear gas and
live bullets in arcades during protests.
They note that whenever there is a protest in the town, arcade traders suffer
at the hands of security agencies that not only beat them but go ahead and fire
tear gas in buildings.
On Wednesday, protests broke out in the City following the arrest of
Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi in Luuka District. A video making
rounds on social media also show a military police officer fire a bullet at a
trader filming from an upper floor. The incident is said to have happened on
Everest Kayondo, the Chairman Kampala City Traders Association-KACITA
says over 20 tear gas canisters were yesterday fired in the Premier Center
building and at least ten in Royal Complex.
“And if you are shooting even live bullets, what are the intentions of the
security? President Museveni told us one of the things he was going to do was
to remove guns from the civilians and guns should remain in the barracks, ”
Kayondo says that several traders fainted, suffocated and others hospitalized
as a result of tear gas. He adds that some traders have made losses by closing
their premises for fear of being harassed by security personnel.
Emmanuel Agaba, a trader at Light City Arcade at Nkrumah Road says that police’s
actions also scare away their customers.
Agaba adds that many of them live in fear whenever a protest erupts
because of the brutal acts of security personnel.
Godfrey Katongole the Chairman Kampala Arcades Traders Association
wonders why traders should suffer at the cost of protesters.
When protests erupt in Kampala, the entrances to arcades are
blocked to prevent looters from breaking into the shops.
//Cue in: “Ekyonno ekyabadde ku…
Cue out: …tear gas kiki”//
Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson says security
only fires tear gas in to quell protesters and would not target people in
buildings. He says if any canisters were thrown in the arcades, it is unfortunate.